Conflict in Gaza Has Protesters on Fresno Streets

January 2, 2009 6:28:09 PM PST
The ongoing conflict in Gaza has taken its toll on people living in the Valley and some have even taken to the streets.Despite varying views regarding this conflict, both sides I spoke to say they have found some common ground.

For the sixth straight day, violence continues to erupt in Israel and the Gaza strip.

More than 400 people have been killed since the conflict began.

At a weekly prayer service, the Muslim community focused much of their attention on the conflict ... praying for all of the innocent people who have died since it began.

Kamal Abu-Shamsieh said, "Our challenge here is really to uplift and remember the innocent victims."

At Temple Beth Israel in Northwest Fresno worshippers are gearing up for evening Sabbath services. Members of the congregation say it's likely the conflict will not be brought up at that service. But, that they too, are distraught over the conflict and the civilians who have died as a result.

Stuart Weil said, "It's terrible civilians are being hurt in anything, and its terrible when Hamas lobs rockets over to Israel and kill people."

Both sides have very different views regarding how and why all of this bloodshed began. But they do agree that the violence needs to stop, so that innocent people will be able to live in peace.

"What remains unaddressed in a way is the ongoing tragedy of the innocent civilians who are caught in the middle of the conflict," said Abu-Shamsieh.

"They have a terrible life living under the conditions Hamas gives them and who could want that for anybody. Hamas has to stop its terrorism. That's the cause of this problem. That's the solution to the problem," said Weil.

A solution that's proving elusive for all involved.

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