New York town eyes Israeli security solution after Monsey rampage

 
Gabriel emergency panic button (photo credit: Courtesy)
Gabriel emergency panic button
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Grafton Thomas, the man accused of the machete rampage at the Monsey home of a hassidic rabbi during a Hanukkah celebration, was indicted on Friday on six counts of attempted murder.

A week after an antisemitic stabbing rampage in Ramapo’s Monsey community on Dec. 28 shocked the world, the town’s authorities have announced plans to install an Israeli-developed emergency response platform to protect the community.
Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht said the town would trial the “Gabriel,” an affordable crisis platform incorporating a smart panic button to alert and communicate with emergency teams, and also bolster law enforcement capabilities through the installation of cameras and automated license plate readers.
Founded in 2016 by Yoni Sherizen and Asaf Adler, Gabriel can instantly provide first responders with video access and a dynamic map of the scene of an ongoing attack at so-called “soft targets” and communal spaces.
The platform also enables sharing of real-time developments via a smartphone application and provides early warnings to nearby locations which could present additional targets, in the case of an emergency.
The Tel Aviv start-up behind the solution is backed by an advisory board including former Mossad deputy director Ram Ben-Barak, former Israel Police chief Yohanan Danino, former Shin Bet director of overseas missions Kobi Mor and father of Parkland school shooting victim Ryan Petty.
“The Gabriel system is very aptly named – Gabriel was known as a great guardian angel, and he was also known as the enemy trumpeter,” said Specht at a press conference. “This device acts as a guardian angel and as a siren. It was developed by people who are veterans of agencies who have a little bit of experience of fighting terrorism – the IDF and the Mossad.”
Sherizen will meet with Specht and other Ramapo officials on Monday, where they are expected to launch a pilot program and deploy the Gabriel system across the local community.
Grafton Thomas, the man accused of the machete rampage at the Monsey home of a hassidic rabbi during a Hanukkah celebration, was indicted on Friday on six counts of attempted murder.
The indictment also charges Thomas, 37, with three counts of assault, three counts of attempted assault, and two counts of burglary stemming from the attack.
That attack in Monsey capped a string of incidents in which Jews have been physically attacked or accosted in the New York metropolitan area in recent weeks, including a shooting at a kosher supermarket in New Jersey that left two members of the hassidic community dead.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be ‘if’ another attack happens again but ‘when’... and that means we need to protect our children, communities and locations as best as possible,” Sherizen told The Jerusalem Post. “Gabriel is empowering communities with the right tools to take measures that improve preparedness significantly for the critical seconds that save lives.”
The solution, he added, can benefit facilities ranging from schools to places of worship, community centers and public buildings.
“The recent attacks in New Jersey and Monsey have also generated requests for implementation at kosher stores, social service agencies, and all sorts of places where people gather,” Sherizen said.
Reuters contributed to this report.