EPS increasing patrols at places of worship after militant attack on Israel

By News Staff

Edmonton police say they are increasing patrols around some places of worship and community centres in response to the militant attack on Israel.

The Edmonton Police Service says the decision was taken “out of an abundance of caution” and “there is no immediate safety concerns in Edmonton.”

“The EPS is monitoring the escalation of events in Israel closely… we understand the impact this has locally,” police tweeted Saturday evening.

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Police say they are working with other law enforcement partners and community leaders when it comes to increasing patrols around certain places of worship.

Police Calgary are doing the same as a form of “proactive policing” following the attack.

“In light of the attacks against Israel and rising violence in the Middle East, we recognize the concern that this brings to our local community,” Calgary police wrote on X.

“We continue to stand by our law enforcement partners and trusted community leaders to ensure the safety of all Calgarians.”

The attack from Hamas militants during Simchat Torah, a Jewish holiday that celebrates the end of the yearly cycle of public Torah readings, is being called one of the deadliest on Israel in decades.

The Israeli military says Hamas fired 3,500 rockets from 22 locations outside the Gaza Strip, striking multiple cities, including Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the country at war.

Rescue service officials tell Israel media at least 600 people have been killed, including 44 soldiers, and 2,000 were wounded in the attack. The military also says there was a “substantial” number of Israelis who were abducted Saturday but did not give an exact figure.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says 313 people have died in the territory, including 20 children, and nearly 2,000 people wounded. An Israeli official said the military had killed 400 militants and captured dozens more.

WATCH: Hundreds killed in Israel, Gaza after Hamas attacks

UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinians, said more than 20,000 Palestinians left Gaza’s border region to head further inside the territory and take refuge in U.N. schools.

The attack, named “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm,” was in response to the 16-year blockade of Gaza, and a series of recent incidents that have heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions, according to Mohammed Deif, leader of Hamas’ military wing.

—With files from The Associated Press

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