Tuesday May 18, 2021
As Israel continues to inflict heavy casualties on Palestinian civilians in Gaza, scores of people across the US gathered in major cities over the weekend to support the Palestinians.
Gaza health officials on Tuesday said the Palestinian death toll has risen to 212, including 61 children and 36 women since hostilities began last week. Ten people have been killed in Israel, including two children.
According to a CNN news report, protests across the United States in solidarity with Palestinians stretched from California to New York over the weekend.
"Saturday marked the 73rd anniversary of "al-Nakba," or "the catastrophe", when more than 700,000 Palestinians were driven from or left their homes during the war that created the state of Israel," read the news report.
While few demonstrators showed up with handmade signs, others marched and chanted through megaphones.
However, their message remained the same: to "stand in solidarity with the Palestinian community".
In California, 23-year-old Adil Abbuthalha grabbed his camera and made his way to downtown Sacramento on Sunday, motivated to march the streets of the state's capital in solidarity with Palestinians, he told CNN.
"As a Muslim, our prophet (PBUH) teaches us that humanity is like a body -- when one part hurts, the rest of the body hurts," he said. "And now our brothers and sisters are bleeding across the world."
Meanwhile, 33-year-old Nader Mirfiq, who joined his city's protest Saturday afternoon, said that he's disgusted and he wants to "open people's eyes worldwide on the injustices happening in Gaza and in Palestine."
"This is about being human beings and fighting for what's right," he said. "We want justice and we want it now," Mirfiq rued.
Similarly, Febi Ramadhan, 27, and his wife, Annisa Mawarni, 25, took to the streets of downtown Chicago and posed for a photo with handmade signs.
"I was saddened and enraged by these continuous acts of violence, and I participated in the rally in downtown Chicago to fight together with Palestinians against this pogrom until the liberation of Palestine actually happens," Ramadhan told CNN.
Israeli airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave continued overnight. Soon after dawn, missiles struck two buildings in Gaza City, sending plumes of thick smoke into the air.
Palestinians in the Strip fired rockets early on Tuesday that set off sirens in southern Israeli cities, sending thousands running for bomb shelters.
There were no immediate reports of injuries on either side.