“New York Stands With Israel” rally in Manhattan
“New York Stands With Israel” rally in ManhattanKyle Mazza / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

At least two schools in the New York City area are closed today (Friday) in response to Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal's call for a global "day of Jihad," the New York Post reported.

Two fathers of Jewish students at different schools told the Post that their children's schools decided to close today in light of the threat of violence by Hamas supporters and sympathizers.

“This isn’t about Israel – it’s about Jews. And that’s what’s so horrifying,” one of the fathers said.

The other father described how his child's school has hired extra security and no longer allows the children to leave the building to play within the fence of the school grounds during recess on the days when the school is open following the Hamas massacre of over 1,300 Israelis last Saturday.

Security has been beefed up at Jewish institutions such as synagogues across New York following Meshaal's threats.

Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureau Rebecca Weiner told Jewish community leaders that the NYPD would increase their presence on Friday out of “an abundance of caution” but stressed that no concrete threats were known.

New York City Mayor Adams said in a virtual briefing Thursday: “I want every New Yorker, especially Jewish New Yorkers and other groups to know there are currently no credible or specific threats against our city, but with large-scale protests planned for tomorrow, we must remain vigilant.”

In London, as well, two Jewish schools announced that they would not reopen until Monday due to the threat of anti-Jewish violence. Jewish students have also been given permission not to wear their usual school uniform so as not to appear identifiably Jewish.

The Israeli government issued a warning calling on Israeli citizens abroad to be cautious today in light of the Hamas call for a "day of rage."

The National Security Council and Foreign Ministry recommend all Israelis abroad be alert, avoid demonstrations, and, if needed, notify the local authorities of a possible protest or riot in their area.

The statement adds: "The National Security Council, all security bodies, and the Foreign Ministry will continue to work to protect the safety of Israeli citizens around the world."