Prague's Petřín Tower lights up in blue and white in solidarity with Israel

Police around the Czech Republic have also increased security at Jewish sites following yesterday's devastating attacks in Israel.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 08.10.2023 09:36:00 (updated on 14.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's Petřín Lookout Tower lit up in the colors of the Israeli flag last night following the deadly attacks by Hamas yesterday. According to the Jerusalem Post, the death toll from the attacks has risen to 326 as of this morning, with another 1,860 injured and dozens kidnapped by militants.

Czech leaders and Prague officials have both condemned the attacks. "The attack conducted from the Gaza Strip is a reprehensible act of terrorism against the State of Israel and the civilian population," President Petr Pavel wrote on social media yesterday.

Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda organized the lighting of Petřín Lookout Tower, one of the city's most recognizable landmarks, as a symbolic gesture of support for the people of Israel following the devastating attack.

"I unequivocally condemn the insidious attack on Israel carried out by the terrorist organization Hamas," Svoboda says in a press statement. "I express regret for the victims and support for the people of Israel. Lighting up the Petřín Observatory in Israeli colors is a symbolic expression of this solidarity."

"The unprecedented violence and loss of life that we have been witnessing in Israel since this morning is completely unacceptable," adds Prague Deputy Mayor Zdeněk Hřib. "By lighting up the Petřín Lookout Tower, we also express our condolences to all the victims of this terrorism."

"We consider today's terrorist attacks on Israel to be a completely unacceptable way of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," says Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček. "By lighting up the Prague landmark, we show that our thoughts are in the Land of Israel with the families of the innocent civilian victims."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been scheduled to visit Prague from tomorrow to meet with Czech leaders including Prime Minister Petr Fiala and President Petr Pavel.

Those meetings have been indefinitely postponed as Netanyahu declared yesterday that his country was at war. Israel responded to the terrorist attacks throughout the day yesterday with air strikes on the Gaza Strip, which have resulted in 250 casualties according to Palestinian officials, as reported by BBC.

Around the Czech Republic, police have taken proactive steps to enhance security around Jewish sites and cultural landmarks, according to Interior MInister Vít Rakušan. While no specific threats have been identified on Czech territory, authorities are implementing precautionary measures to safeguard important Jewish buildings and cultural heritage sites.

"In light of the recent rocket attacks on Israel, Czech police are coordinating with facility operators through their regional departments to ensure appropriate preventive measures are in place," Rakušan wrote on social media yesterday.

Enhanced security measures not only encompass the Israeli embassy in Prague but also extend to sites like the Spanish Synagogue and the Terezín Memorial in the Litomerice district.

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