SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — Members of the San Angelo community gathered on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 11, for a prayer service for those affected by the deadly Hamas-led attacks in Israel.

Ami Mizell-Flint, president of Congregation Beth-Israel, says many people are shocked and devastated.

“It’s devastating when you think about people celebrating the holiday and just living their everyday life, and, of course, it was a Sabbath Saturday for Israel too, which is a big day of rest and celebration,” Mizell-Flint said. “It’s hard to fathom that such a happy day could turn into such a tragedy.”

Participants were encouraged to wear blue and white in support of Israel.

For several days now, Israeli forces and Hamas have been fighting after an unexpected attack from the Palestinian militant group. Hundreds of civilians, including American citizens, have been taken hostage and killed.

“I think it’s important for people to look at what’s happened and understand this is the worst massacre of Jewish people since the Holocaust,” Stuart Abramson, vice president of Congregation Beth-Israel, said. “We want people to be able to help us support Israel and help us support each other.”

Mizell-Flint says a vigil took place in San Angelo a few years ago for a synagogue shooting in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. She says there was such a positive response that the synagogue wanted to provide another opportunity for prayer during these times.

“Human beings need to watch out for other humans,” Mizell-Flint said. “We really want to pay attention to what’s happening, not just in Israel, but in every country and see who’s being attacked and who the attackers are and what the reasons behind those attacks are. We’ll take action when we can, pray when we can and pray for their safety.”