Student organizations rally to show support for Israel, Palestine

Turlington Plaza was packed but divided Thursday afternoon.

At about 12:30 p.m., about 100 UF students rallied in response to the rocket attacks in southern Israel and Gaza launched by Palestinian militants.

According to CNN, more than 300 rockets have been launched since Wednesday as part of the latest developments in the historical conflict stemming from cultural differences.

The military leader of Hamas, an Islamic political party with a militant wing, was assassinated earlier this week. Palestinian rockets have killed at least 18 people.

For the last decade, Israeli civilians around the Gaza Strip, which is a little piece of land, have been living under the threat of rocket fire, said Josh Kahn, the Jewish Agency Israel Fellow to UF Hillel.

The 28-year-old helped organize the pro-Israel rally, which was put together Wednesday night by varying Jewish organizations on UFs campus.

This is being fired discriminately at neighborhoods, he said. These are not military targets. Its literally schools and houses.

Above heads, signs read NO to HAMAS, YES to PEACE and Pro Peace. The crowd sang Jewish prayers and chanted, Its great to be a Jewish Gator.

Across the plaza, a smaller group brandished a Palestinian flag. UF Students for a Democratic Society lead organizer Skye Schmelzer, a 20-year-old history junior, said they were there to counter-protest in support of Palestine.

Kahn said the event was not meant to be Israel versus Palestine.

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Student organizations rally to show support for Israel, Palestine


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