🔴 The flag was stolen Friday night night from the front of Hoboken City Hall

🔴 A new flag was hoisted on Tuesday

🔴 The Tenafly family of hostage Edan Alexander attended a rally at the UN Tuesday


HOBOKEN – An Israeli flag stolen Friday night from the front of City Hall has been replaced as the family of a New Jersey man being held hostage joins a rally at the United Nations demanding their release.

Two individuals were seen on video taking the flag flying at half-staff around 10 p.m., according to Mayor Ravi Bhalla. The flag was put in place following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Rabbi Robert Scheinberg of the United Synagogue of Hoboken and Bhalla raised a new flag on Tuesday.

"I want to make it unequivocally clear that we will not tolerate such behavior in our community. Hoboken is a diverse city that has always stood for fairness and inclusivity. We take pride in the fact that our community embraces people from all walks of life and from all corners of the world," Bhalla said in a statement.

The mayor asked anyone with information about the theft to contact Hoboken police at 201-420-2100 ext. 3182.

Hoboken hosted a candlelight vigil three days after the attack in support of the victims attended by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Ravi Bhalla at the Unite in Prayer for Israel candlelight vigil at Hoboken’s Pier A Gazebo 10/10/23
Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Ravi Bhalla at the Unite in Prayer for Israel candlelight vigil at Hoboken’s Pier A Gazebo 10/10/23 (Jake Hirsch/Governor’s Office.)

“Just bring him home"

Two hundred pairs of shoes were laid out Tuesday on Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York to symbolize those being held hostage by Hamas, according to the New York Times.

The family of Edan Alexander, a 19-year-old Tenafly resident who is part of the Israel Defense Forces and being held hostage by Hamas was at a rally seeking more action to bring them home.

“Just bring him home. That’s all,” a member of his family, wearing a shirt with his picture on it, told the New York Post.

The White House is developing “prudent contingency planning” to evacuate Americans from the Middle East in case the Israel-Hamas war spreads into a broad regional conflict.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Tuesday stressed there are currently no “active efforts” to evacuate Americans from the region beyond charter flights the U.S government began operating earlier this month out of Israel.

The U.S. has advised Israel that postponing a possible ground invasion of Gaza could be helpful as the U.S. and other partners in the region try to secure the release of hostages.

Edan Alexander at his high school graduation in 2022
Edan Alexander at his high school graduation in 2022 (Office of Rep. Josh Gottheimer)

(Includes material copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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