SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox issued an order on Tuesday morning, Oct. 10, for the American flag to be flown at half-staff across all state facilities. Cox said in his directive the order is a symbol of solidarity with the State of Israel and its people.
Israel was the target of a surprise attack out of Gaza on Saturday by a militant group named Hamas. The group is an Islamic resistance group, which was designated a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department in 1997, according to the Associated Press. In response to the attack, Israel declared war on Hamas.
The Associated Press reports the war has already claimed at least 1,600 lives in just four days of gun fighting and rocket barrages.
BYU’s Jerusalem Center, located in the capital city of Israel, has so far been safe from the attacks. On Monday morning, students and personnel at the Center took shelter amid rocket barrages. The city was spared major damage thanks to Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepting many of the rockets. The Jerusalem Center is currently home to 93 students and personnel.
In solidarity with the people of Israel, American flags in front of all state facilities in Utah will be lowered at sunrise on Tuesday morning. According to Cox’s order, flags will remain at half-staff through to sunset on Friday, Oct. 13.
The Utah governor extended an invitation to private citizens, businesses and other organizations to participate and lower flags on their premises in support of Israel.