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The War in Gaza

Picture of people’s conditions during the war in Gaza

The Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented assault on Israel on 7 October, with hundreds of gunmen infiltrating communities near the Gaza Strip.

About 1,200 people were killed, while the Israeli military says more than 200 soldiers and civilians, including women and children, were taken to Gaza as hostages. More than 14,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed in air and artillery strikes carried out by the Israeli military in response, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. (BBC).

Some of the anti-government protesters who took to the streets of Jerusalem on Sunday, calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign, were family members of the hostages being held in Gaza. Former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, the current opposition leader, called on the Israeli government to pay attention to the ongoing demonstrations and the protesters’ demands. 

“Present here in the crowd are families of hostages. They stood outside the Kirya (the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Tel Aviv), and screamed their souls out, yet nobody heard. They waved signs and no one saw. The Israeli government is ignoring their existence,” Lapid said while at the rally outside the Knesset in Jerusalem.

Thousands more protesters gathered outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, carrying flags and banners. 

“Bring everyone home now. Without returning the hostages, Israel doesn’t have a justification to exist,” one of the banners reads.

The Israel Police said in a statement that “several pyrotechnic items, including smoke flares, were set off near the demonstrators” and that one person was arrested on suspicion of being involved. Separately, the family of an Israeli female soldier held hostage in Gaza said “no good news” came out of their meeting with Netanyahu on Sunday.

“After six months, we hoped and expected to get some good news as the negotiations progressed,” the father of 19-year-old captured soldier Naama Levy said in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio. “We received no such news. On the contrary, we are disturbed that negotiations are progressing slowly.”

Meanwhile, in the north, a raid on Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical facility entered its 14th day Sunday. Israel claims it has killed more than 200 militants at the facility, while Palestinians inside Al-Shifa and around it have reported civilian casualties and arrests, as well as large-scale destruction. The health ministry in Gaza says Israel is not allowing patients and medical staff to evacuate, trapping them without basic resources. (CNN)

I asked Mario Valerio Abad, a junior on the campus, what he thinks about this war and if he thinks there is something we can do to help them from here.

“ I think the war in Gaza is heartbreaking. It is terrible to see all these poor people being killed, families losing kids, and children losing parents. It makes me so sad! The only thing we can do to help them from here is show our support for sure, and donate what we can to the organizations aiding affected families.”

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