The Mayor and Council approved the following statement during their Monday, Oct. 23 meeting:
We unequivocally condemn Hamas's targeted violence against innocent civilians in Israel, which has resulted in unconscionable barbaric murder and rape, attacking entire families from babies to elders, and the kidnapping of civilians, including children, who remain hostage. The attacks by the terrorist Hamas were long planned and practiced. The brutality was intended; not acts by individual soldiers. We recognize that Israeli Arabs were targeted alongside Israeli Jews.
This unprovoked attack aligns with the Hamas mission to eradicate the State of Israel and murder all Jews. Israel, a nation state endorsed and voted into the United Nations 75 years ago, has the right to protect its citizens, tourists, and visitors against insurgents. Its borders were breached, the country invaded in the most horrific manner, from land, air and sea was a deliberate provocation coming as it did during a religious holiday, on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war. For what evil purpose, we cannot fathom. Innocent Israelis and Palestinians, as always in war, will bear the consequences of Hamas's terrorist attacks for years to come.
We grieve the innocent loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives over the past week, and we condemn all violence against civilians. In just one week, this conflict resulted in thousands of Israeli and Palestinian deaths, including nearly 1,000 innocent children. An estimated 222 Israelis, Americans and other hostages remain hidden in Gaza. Their loved ones are experiencing unimaginable grief while fearing whether they are alive or slaughtered by their captors. The scale and cruelty of this violence is shocking, appalling, and heartbreaking. Rockville unequivocally denounces this Hamas attack and all targeted terrorist genocidal actions aimed at the eradication of any religious, ethnic, racial, national or other minority population.
We recognize that many members of our Rockville community have family and friends who are directly impacted. We urge all in our Rockville communities to practice empathy, to recognize our collective humanity and right to life and freedom, to grieve the immense loss of life, and to allow ourselves to be shocked and devastated. We cannot afford to be numb and helpless but must see the humanity of ourselves and others. What we are witnessing is not a political tragedy, but a human one. At times like this, it is important to remember that hate has no home in Rockville.
The Rockville Mayor and Council have approved the lighting of City Hall and Rockville City Police along with Montgomery County Police have increased patrols of places of worship and schools in our community. Please report potential hate crimes and share available resources: Reporting Hate Crimes and Bias.