Flags to fly at half-staff in Washington to honor those killed in Israel attacks

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(The Center Square) – The Israeli flag is flying at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia in a show of support for the Jewish state, which was attacked on Saturday morning by members of the Hamas terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip.

Hamas terrorists fired thousands of rockets from Gaza at multiple locations in Israel as Hamas militants infiltrated Israel, killing and capturing Israeli soldiers and civilians. Israeli media initially reported hundreds dead and thousands wounded, and Israeli forces quickly struck back at targets in Gaza, beginning what could be a prolonged war in the region.

“The Israeli flag went up in the flag circle just before noon today,” Mike Faulk, spokesperson for Gov. Jay Inslee, emailed The Center Square.

Earlier Wednesday, Inslee announced all flags at state agency facilities will be lowered to half-staff on Thursday to honor those killed in Israel during Hamas’ recent attacks.

The Washington state and United States flags will remain at half-staff in Olympia until the end of the business day or sunset Thursday, according to a directive from the governor.

“I am deeply saddened by the violent attack against Israel committed on Saturday, October 7th by Hamas, which has caused death, injury, and suffering abroad as well as heartache and sorrow here in Washington state,” Inslee said in the directive. “Among those killed is Hayim Katsman, who came to Washington state to study at the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies and received his doctorate in June of 2021.”

On Monday morning, Democrat and Republican leaders of the state Senate sent Inslee a letter requesting that the Israeli flag be flown at the state Capitol and that U.S. flags across Washington be lowered to half-staff as a demonstration of support for Israel.

“Lowering our Washington and the United States flags to half-staff will say that we stand with all who have been murdered and oppressed by HAMAS,” the letter reads in part. “Flying the Israeli flag over Legislative Building Olympia, our Capitol will say that, in our corner of the world, we stand with our friends on the front lines whose blood is being shed in the defense of freedom and the quest for peace.”

“We were working on both of those prior to the letter,” Faulk noted.

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