NEW YORK - In anticipation of several pro-Palestinian rallies Friday across New York City, the NYPD is ramping up security.
The NYPD is positioning itself to be ready for what could be a much larger, much tenser demonstration in Times Square. It comes as former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal called for a "day of jihad" across the Muslim world Friday, Reuters reported.
‘No intelligence showing any active threats’
"There is currently no intelligence showing any active threats in New York, that is, the entire state of New York," Hochul said. "But in a moment fraught like this, we will continue to exercise elevated vigilance and impose measures to deteriorate any potential violence."
"The NYPD intelligence capability knows how to sort out the BS on social media, versus something in which there should be a real concern social media," said former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. "It does create hysteria, particularly among young people."
The NYPD said it has its critical response and counterterrorism commands ready to be deployed. It also told all police officers to report in uniform, and while there is no reason for residents to expect any violence, the top brass wants to make sure they at least feel safe.
"These deployments are about two things," said Rebecca Weiner, the NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism. "They’re about deterrence and reassuring New Yorkers. People have heated emotions, but we don’t see violence, and that’s what we’re going ensure."
The Times Square rally is scheduled to begin around 3 p.m.
Gov. Hochul said the NYPD has:
- Fully activated the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Counterterrorism.
- Fully activated the state police.
- Directed the National Guard to patrol key transportation hubs.
Since the attack, people took to the streets to express their views, and often outrage, as the war escalates between Israel and Hamas militants.
Around 50 Brooklyn College students used their lunch break Thursday to wave Palestinian flags and chant, as about 100 police officers barricaded them, separating them from the handful of pro-Israel protestors.
In Manhattan, a larger rally rang out at Hunter College on the Upper East Side.
Invitations to pro-Palestinian four rallies Thursday spread quickly on social media. Even at a small gathering at CUNY campuses, tensions ran high.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.