Whitby: ‘No credible threat’ to Durham amid Hamas-Israel violence police say

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Published October 12, 2023 at 2:45 pm

via DRPS.

Durham Regional Police is increasing patrols and support for religious organizations amid the ongoing violence of the Israel-Hamas war.

The latest eruption of violence in the 70-year conflict was sparked on Thanksgiving weekend after a surprise terrorist attack against Israeli communities near the border with the Gaza Strip. Hamas militants poured over the border of the Israeli-occupied strip following a barrage of rocket fire.

As Hamas moved through these residential communities and military bases, they slaughtered hundreds of civilians including babies and children. The militants also took some 200 hostages who they extracted back to Gaza.

Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) mobilized against the attack and forced Hamas back into Gaza by the day’s end. The attack fell on the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah and just after the 5oth anniversary of a similar surprise attack that sparked the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Israel responded to Hamas’ terrorist attack with a scorched Earth campaign in Gaza. The government almost immediately announced a state of war and a unity party coalition. They have bombarded the strip with airstrikes, including civilian targets, for the past several days.

As a fully occupied territory, albeit governed by Hamas, Gaza’s electricity, water, food and medical imports are fully dependent on Israel, which has cut off all supply to the strip. Amnesty International has described Israeli restriction of resources as a war crime against Palestinian civilians. Roughly 2 million people live on the strip roughy half of whom are children.

More than 1,300 Israelis and 1,400 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting began. This includes three Canadians; Adi Vital-Kaploun, 33, Ben Mizrachi, 22, and Alexandre Look, 33. Another two Canadians are missing. The government has begun evacuating any remaining Canadians in the region from Tel Aviv to Athens.

Throughout the fighting, law enforcement worldwide has been made aware of threats of violence outside of the Middle East in reaction to the conflict. Numerous protests and rallies have been held around the world, including in Canada, in support of both sides. Hamas has led a call for supporters to commit attacks of their own in nations not otherwise involved in the conflict.

Numerous Canadian police services, such as the RCMP, the OPP and Toronto Police have stepped up patrols and supports. This includes Durham Regional Police who declared they were doing the same amid the Hamas call.

However, Chief Peter Moriera stressed the service had not identified any specific “credible threat” to the area. “DRPS monitors events that could impact community safety. We have confirmed there is currently no credible threats to the Durham Region. We continue to have proactive police patrols and engagement,” he wrote.

“Police are aware of the online global threats related to the war and violence in the Middle East,” the service wrote, “Currently there are no credible threats here in Durham Region. Our service remains committed to continually monitoring events.”

Durham police officers “have and will continue to asctively patrol places of worship and public spaces in out communities to keep all our residents safe. We are commited to equality and safe space for all and will continue to connect with our faith-based communities to provide reassurance and support.”

The continued to say they “would not tolerate any form of hate crime or threat of violence against any person or groups. Any act of violance or hate will be investigated to the fullest extent of the law.”

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