Earlier this month, the Israeli army and Palestinian militants had their worst clash since 2014. In the wake of the cease-fire declared late last week, protesters in support of Palestine rallied in South Bend on Monday.
A crowd of a little more than 50 gathered at the federal courthouse in downtown South Bend to protest Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, which killed about 200 Palestinians earlier this month.
Mohammed Sirajuddin, an Imam with the Islamic Society of Michiana, said the long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine isn’t simply an issue of religion or ethnicity.
“The Palestinian issue is not the issue of Muslims, it is not the issues of the Arabs, it is the issue of justice and humanity and human rights,” he said.
Joe Araman, a member of South Bend’s Palestinian community, called for U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to meet with representatives of a “unified Palestinian people” – not just militant groups – during a visit to the Middle East this week.
“We are one people,” he said. “Not the 48 people, not the West Bankers and not the Gazans. We are one people.”