Scene of incident in Texas
Scene of incident in Texas Dr. Mike Evans

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the US, on Saturday condemned the hostage-taking incident at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas.

In a statement, the organization said it is in contact with local community leaders to learn more about the attack and provide any assistance possible.

"We strongly condemn the hostage-taking at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. This latest antisemitic attack at a house of worship is an unacceptable act of evil,” said CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell.

“We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community, and we pray that law enforcement authorities are able to swiftly and safely free the hostages. No cause can justify or excuse this crime. We are in contact with local community leaders to learn more and provide any assistance that we can," he added.

Earlier on Saturday, the Jewish Agency for Israel responded to the incident and said, "The Jewish Agency is closely monitoring the evolving situation in TX, USA, and praying for the safety of all those involved."

Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai tweeted, "Monitoring closely from Israel the hostage situation unfolding at Beth Israel Congregation where the Jewish community gathered for Shabbat services in Colleyville, Texas. Praying for an immediate and safe end."

Shai also said that he is "worriedly following" the event, which was "another expected display" of "the anti-Semitism which is growing in the US." He added that he and his staff "are in contact with the Jewish community in Texas and following the situation in the synagogue. I pray that the incident ends quickly and without injuries among the hostages or the US security forces."

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides tweeted, "I am closely monitoring reports of the hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Texas, where the community is gathered for Shabbat services. Praying for an immediate and safe end."

US Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, "Heidi and I are praying for those at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville and for the SWAT team and all other law enforcement on the scene responding. My staff and I are closely monitoring the situation and are in close contact with local and national authorities."

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, "POTUS has been briefed about the developing hostage situation in the Dallas area. He will continue to receive updates from his senior team as the situation develops. Senior members of the national security team are also in touch with federal law enforcement leadership."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is Jewish, tweeted, "I’m monitoring the situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. I’m praying for a peaceful resolution, for those being held, for the first responders, for Congregation Beth Israel, and for the Jewish community in Colleyville."

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