(The Center Square ) – After the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas attacked Israel and the death toll climbed to 2,500, which includes at least 25 Americans, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has taken measures to protect Jewish residents in the state. He did so as the founder of Hamas, Khaled Mashal, called for Muslims to engage in widespread violence on Friday, October 13.
“The State of Texas condemns these heinous acts of violence and inhumanity against Israel and its people by ruthless terrorists, and we stand ready to offer our complete support to the Israeli and Jewish communities,” Abbott said. “I firmly denounce the act of war against Israeli citizens and Americans in Israel and support Israel’s right to defend itself from these barbaric attacks. Working with local partners across Texas, we are actively increasing security at Jewish and Israel-related locations such as synagogues and schools. In response to these cowardly attacks, we stand united with our Jewish neighbors and we repudiate terrorism and anti-Semitism.”
The Texas governor also said the state has allocated over $4 million in additional funding through the Governor’s Public Safety Office to provide enhanced security for Jewish organizations, including synagogues and schools across Texas. He also directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to coordinate with local law enforcement partners and federal intelligence agencies on heightened public safety measures statewide.
Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting all state agencies from purchasing goods produced in or exported from the Gaza Strip and from any organization or state actor with ties to Hamas. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar also reminded businesses about Texas’ boycott Israel list.
They did so as Mashal encouraged Muslims around the world to engage in violence on Oct. 13, calling it “the Friday of Al-Aqsa flood,” referring to Al-Aqsa Mosque located in Jerusalem.
Former Muslim and converted Christian Brother Rachid provided a copy of Mashal’s call in a video published by the Yemeni television program, Alhahriah TV, to The Center Square. Alhahriah TV published the video on Youtube, which has since made its access private. Rachid also posted a translation of Mashal’s remarks on social media.
Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, on the Sabbath and on a Jewish holiday, Shemini Atzeret. The attack included the firing of 5,000 rockets, kidnapping roughly 150 people, and initially killing 1,200 Israelis, as well as 25 Americans. Israel then declared war and Lebanon’s Islamic terrorist group, Hezbollah, began attacking Israel from the north.
Mashal is calling on “Muslims around the world to carry Jihad by their souls; to fight and be martyrs for Al-Aqsa,” Rachid said, beginning with those living in Israel’s neighboring countries of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. He asks that Islamic martyrs “spill their blood on the land of Palestine. … Funds are important but today we are asking for your blood and souls [to be sacrificed for Palestine].”
Texas DPS said it’s “not aware of any specific and credible threats to Texas. However, the department has concerns the current conflict could inspire homegrown violent extremists and foreign terrorists organizations operating in the United States to target the Jewish community and institutions associated with Israel outside of the Middle East.
“The department encourages Texans to remain vigilant at all times and report any suspicious activity via iWatchTexas … in order to help prevent dangerous attacks. Tips can be reported via the website, the free iOS or Android mobile app or by calling 844-643-2251.”
Texans are encouraged to download the free iOS or Android mobile app and learn how to use iWatchTexas here.