Death threat targets NY school official who honored dead Gaza protesters

200 current and former students, parents sign letter in support of the moment of silence held for those killed on border, at least 53 of whom were members of terror groups

Beacon High School in New York City (CC-BY SA Wikiedior129293+1/Wikipedia)
Beacon High School in New York City (CC-BY SA Wikiedior129293+1/Wikipedia)

An official at a school in New York City that held a moment of silence for Palestinian victims of violence on the Gaza border with Israel received a death threat.

William Stroud, assistant principal of Beacon School, a selective public school located in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan, told a parents meeting that he received a death threat after the May 15 moment of silence became public through media reports, the New York Post reported Sunday.

The school filed a harassment complaint with the New York Police Department.

Stroud told the parents, according to the Post, that the school had approved the moment of silence announced over the school’s public address system. A student has requested the moment of silence following a border protest in which at least 60 Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli troops.

Israel accused the Hamas terror group of encouraging the protests and using them as cover to attempt to carry out terror attacks, including firing at troops and attempting to breach the border fence.

Palestinian demonstrators use slingshots to hurl rocks at Israeli forces during clashes along the border with the Gaza strip east of Khan Yunis on May 18, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)

Some Jewish parents told the Post last week following news of the tribute that they were unhappy that the school got involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A Jewish student told the newspaper that the moment of silence made some of her Jewish friends uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, about 200 current and former students and parents signed a letter in support of the moment of silence.

“As individuals affiliated with Beacon, we were very proud to learn that a moment of silence was held at the school for Palestinians killed in Gaza last week while protesting for their rights,” the letter read, according to The Forward. “We are so glad that students who attend Beacon are actively learning to engage with the world around them and honor each person’s humanity. Thank you for fostering an atmosphere at the school that encourages students to develop a commitment to justice.”

The deaths of over 60 Palestinians during violent protests on May 14 were met with international outrage and calls for an independent investigation of events.

Left- and right-wing Jews were divided over the deaths in Gaza, which came on the same day that the United States dedicated its new embassy in Jerusalem.

Hamas subsequently admitted that 50 of the dead were members of the terror group. Three others were Islamic Jihad members.

Since March 30, tens of thousands of Palestinians have taken part in weekly “March of Return” protests, which Israel says are orchestrated by the Hamas terror group and used as cover for attempted terror attacks and breaches of the border fence.

The violent demonstrations were meant to end on May 15, but Hamas leaders have said they want them to continue.

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