January 9, 2024

Illegal tunnels discovered in New York synagogue 

Illegal tunnels discovered in New York synagogue

There have been reactions after illegal tunnels were discovered in New York on Monday as a group of young Orthodox Jewish men attempted to stop construction workers from blocking access.

When the tunnels were discovered in December at the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, the synagogue’s leaders called in construction crews to flood them with concrete.

At least 10 men, dressed in the Hasidic Jewish long black coat with a hat, were arrested by officers of the New York City Police Department when the gathering turned rowdy, according to multiple media reports.

According to Metro, the tunneling site is a 100-year-old establishment home to the World Headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch. 

Reports said that Chabad-Lubavitch members had been digging tunnels for months before they were discovered in December 2023. 

At the time, the synagogue’s leadership called on engineers to assess the damage and, on Monday, sought to fill the space with concrete.

Videos on social media revealed that orthodox Jewish men ripping apart the wooden walls and occupying them so construction crews do not have safe access to the space.

Some are also seen tossing items and pulling down furniture in an attempt to disrupt the filling of the space. The actions were cheered on by many.

Numerous police officers were later seen detaining and removing the people from the space

Reacting to the incident, a NYPD spokesperson, said: “On Monday, January 8, 2024, at approximately 1530 hours, police responded to 911 calls of a disorderly group outside of 770 Eastern Parkway, within the confines of the 71 Precinct.”

“Upon arrival, officers were informed that a group of individuals unlawfully entered 770 Eastern Parkway by damaging a wall.”

“At this time, it is known that a number of individuals were taken into custody. Charges are pending. No injuries were reported as a result of this incident.”

The space has been shut down until further notice.

“The Chabad-Lubavitch community is pained by the vandalism of a group of young agitators who damaged the synagogue below Chabad Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway Monday night,” Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters said in a social media statement.

“These odious actions will be investigated, and the sanctity of the synagogue will be restored. Our thanks to the NYPD for their professionalism and sensitivity,” the statement added.