Sources: Group of NY law enforcement officials, police chiefs in Israel during Hamas attack
A group of 20 to 30 police chiefs and other senior law enforcement officers from across Westchester, Long Island and New York City were in Israel Saturday when Hamas unleashed a deadly assault on Israel by land, air and sea.
The delegation had arrived just 24 hours earlier for counterterrorism and antisemitism training.
Mitch Silber, a political risk and intelligence analyst with Community Security Initiative, helped organize the ill-fated mission and spoke with News 12 by phone as sirens blared and rockets flew overhead.
“Like the rest of southern Israel, were awakened to find out that rockets were being shot toward southern Israel,” he said. “Like every other Israeli, we then entered into shelters in our hotel.”
The terror attack left at least 300 dead and another 1,500 injured.
Silver says the delegation is safe and hunkering down at their hotel on the advice of the Israeli government.
“The situation is quite dynamic. But we're moving as per the original schedule to areas north of here,” said Silver. “The number one priority here is safety for the delegation.”
Many flights out of Tel Aviv have been canceled due to the conflict.
Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah released a statement Saturday, saying a deputy chief investigator was one of the six law enforcement leaders from Westchester County among a 32-member New York delegation. She went on to say every effort is underway for their safe return to New York.