At least five Palestinians were killed Saturday, adding to more than 1,900 deaths since July 8, most of them civilians, according to the United Nations. Alaskans, including those with ties to Palestine, called for an end to the violence today in Anchorage.
Rocket and air attacks between Israel and Palestine continued Saturday, just before the most recent cease-fire was set to expire. Peace talks led by Egypt failed Friday after Islamic militants resumed attacks on Israel.
“The minute Hamas rejected the cease-fire, and continued shooting rockets into Israeli cities, the premise for those talks disappeared,” said Israeli Gov. Spokesman Mark Regev.
Although half way around the world, the war is still close to home for several Alaskans, including Zanah Obeidi, whose family is still in Palestine. She and 39 others stood today in front of the federal building in downtown Anchorage to protest what they called unbalanced attacks by Israel.
“Because my family is from there, we’re still concerned,” Obeidi said. “Those are out brothers and sisters out there, and we hate seeing the bloodshed that’s going on. What's most concerning is thousands of children and innocent people are being killed over there, and they're the ones being blamed for it.”
The U.N. reported nearly 450 Palestinian children have been killed since the conflict began July 8, and more than 900 other civilians. Israel reported 77 deaths, including three civilians.
None of the protesters’ signs were supportive of Israel, a country that says it’s on the defensive after attacks by militants put its civilians in danger.
It’s a divisive issue, and while the group recognizes there isn’t likely to be a quick fix, they hope even here in Alaska that people are paying attention to a war that continues to hurt and kill civilians.