Striking SAG-AFTRA Actors Pause Picketing Over ‘Safety Concerns’

Hurricane Hilary is approaching Los Angeles as striking actors walked the picket line in New York City on Friday, July 14, 2023. (Credit: Twitter/@sagaftra)

SAG-AFTRA told striking actors to stay away from picket lines on Friday due to “safety concerns,” as law enforcement agencies step up patrols following a call for a “global day of jihad” by an ex-Hamas leader.

“In light of potential safety concerns that are unrelated to our ongoing strike, there will be no SAG-AFTRA pickets in New York City or Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 13. Stay safe and see you on the picket lines next week,” the actors union wrote in a post Thursday night on X/Twitter.

The announcement came after ex-Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal called for Muslims around the world to protest in support of Palestinians, after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

In a video obtained by Reuters, Meshaal said: “[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday… you all know your responsibility.”

Related StoryLAPD Adding Extra Patrols After Call for ‘Global Day of Jihad’

In Los Angeles, the LAPD released a statement saying the department is “continuing to assess the situation” while increasing patrols.

Meanwhile, the NYPD increased “uniform deployments” around New York City, although the department said on social media there are no credible threats against the city.

Since last weekend’s attack, at least 1,300 people have been killed in Israel and more than 3,300 injured, according to NBC News. In Gaza, almost 1,850 people have been killed and more than 7,300 have been injured.

Israel has warned residents in northern Gaza and Gaza City to evacuate south, as the Jewish nation readies for a ground invasion. The warning affects more than 1 million Palestinians, although Hamas has urged Gazans to ignore it.

Amnesty International criticized Israel’s warning, saying it “may amount to forced displacement of the civilian population, a violation of international humanitarian law.”