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New York City synagogues on high alert after Iran launches attack on Israel

NYC synagogues on alert after Iran attacks Israel
NYC synagogues on alert after Iran attacks Israel 02:18

NEW YORK -- The NYPD is stepping up security at synagogues in New York City on Sunday following Iran's attack on Israel

The NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau said it is "closely following developments related to the drone attacks on Israel [Saturday]. We will be redeploying uniformed officers to increase visibility at relevant institutions here out of an abundance of caution." 

Israel Defense Forces said at least 300 drones and missiles were fired from Iran, but the vast majority were intercepted by its air defense system and "very little damage" occurred.

The attack is considered retaliatory after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria. 

NYPD confirmed there were no direct threats to New York City in the wake of Iran's attack, which came less than two weeks before Passover starts on April 22. 

Mayor Eric Adams issued the following statement:

"New York City unequivocally stands with the State of Israel in the face of this direct attack and escalation by Iran. I've been briefed on the situation unfolding abroad and we pray for the safety of all in the region. 

"As mayor of the largest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel, the significance of this attack for Jewish New Yorkers — many of whom have family in Israel right now — is not lost on me, especially less than 10 days before Passover begins. 

"While there is no direct or imminent threat to New York City at this time, we have directed the NYPD to deploy additional resources to Jewish communities and houses of worship citywide out of abundance of caution to ensure that our communities have the resources they need to feel safe. 

"Our administration has also begun outreach to both Jewish leaders and elected officials across the five boroughs to keep them apprised of the situation. 

"Our intelligence and counterterrorism teams will continue to closely monitor the situation."

New Yorkers want Iran, Israel to dial down the tension 01:53

New Yorkers want Iran, Israel to dial down the tension

There was a show of support for Israel as marchers carried the Israeli flag in Central Park on Sunday.

"I think we all just want peace in the Middle East. I think when everyone lays down the weapons and sits to talk there will be some peace," said Hillary Canner of Boston.

But there are concerns the violence could escalate. Sheila Lewis teaches meditation at the JCC on the Upper West Side and has family in Israel.

"I try to guide people to feel what's in their hearts and our hearts are breaking for everyone," Lewis said.

"It's a miserable situation but people are doing what they can to protect themselves and protect loved ones," said Dave Hattem of the Upper West Side.

Rabbi Joshua Davidson leads the congregation at Temple Emanu-El, where security is heightened. He said he's relieved the attack didn't cause any damage or deaths.

"No one wants anything to escalate further," Davidson said. "The Jewish community is greatly appreciative of Biden administration efforts and steadfast support of Israel."

Less than 10 blocks away, CBS New York caught up with a man named Nando, who was born in Iran. He said the direct attack was not a surprise.

"It's something happening between the government and I believe it has nothing to do with the people living there," Nando said.

He said he agrees that violence isn't the solution to end the conflict.

"This is not the way to continue their fight. They have to cool it down, bring it on the table," Nando said.

Cardinal Dolan in Israel

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, was visiting Israel when Iran launched its attack.

Dolan presided over Sunday Mass at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center.

Dolan is scheduled to be in Israel and the occupied West Bank until Thursday. His travels are part of a trip for the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. 

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