BYU Jerusalem Center students safe as war is declared in Israel

Saturday’s Hamas attack was not targeted at Jerusalem, but BYU Jerusalem Center leaders have contingency plans in place to keep students safe

All students at the BYU Jerusalem Center have been reported as safe and accounted for following the Hamas militant group’s attack on southern Israel, on Saturday morning, Oct. 7, according to university statements as reported by Deseret News.

According to Deseret News, BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said: “All 94 students at the BYU Jerusalem Center are safe and doing well. They are currently at the center and will remain there for the time being, as we continue to monitor this situation. If needed, contingency plans are in place.”

Concerned family members and friends of those at the BYU Jerusalem Center can find security updates at

The surprise missile attack was not focused on Jerusalem, according to the BYU Jerusalem Center’s security updates webpage. “Even if missiles are fired toward Jerusalem, the militants would be targeting government buildings in West Jerusalem. East Jerusalem, where the Center is located, has never been targeted,” a security update read.

This proved accurate on Monday as rocket attacks aimed toward greater Jerusalem triggered sirens. The Monday, Oct. 9, morning update stated: “Everyone at the center, including students, moved to the center’s shelters for the short duration of the attack. ... The rockets were either intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system or fell harmlessly in rural areas between Gaza and Jerusalem.”

In a televised address on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “We are at war.” On Sunday, his security cabinet formalized the declaration, according to the Associated Press. They also reported that the death toll from the attack stands at at least 600 Israelis and 300 Palestinians in Gaza where the attack was launched from.

Read more about Deseret News’ coverage on the status of the BYU Jerusalem Center at

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