South Florida Israeli and Palestinian Rallies Condemn Violence

Close to 100 local Palestinians & supporters called on the U.S. government to condemn Israeli aggression.

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    Two separate rallies in South Florida condemned violence in Gaza. NBC 6's Laura Rodriguez reports. (Published Sunday, July 20, 2014)

    As the pro-israel rally kicked off on Miami Beach, news broke that 13 Israeli soldiers were killed in an overnight Gaza operation.

    "It's bittersweet because we're here in peace singing, dancing being happy to be together," said Nelly Rosenking, an organizer of the Young Jewish Professional community. "And at the same time you're getting an alert that our brothers and sisters are fighting a war and knowing that they are passing on."

    Since the near two-week conflict began, Israeli officials say at least 20 of their citizens have died. According to the Palestinian health ministry, their death toll is at 425.

    During today's protest, the Consul General of Israel blamed the high number of casualties on the Hamas terrorist organization.

    "We are targeting only the Hamas," said Chaim Shacham, Consul General of Israel. "However, Hamas is putting its civilians in harm's way and using them as human shields."

    Some Israeli supporters don't consider the conflict with Palestinians a fight. They prefer to call it a struggle.

    "Israel's meaning is struggle, so it's not a fight. We're here to protect ourselves," Rosenberg said.

    At yesterday's Palestinian rally in Ft. Lauderdale, however, activists disagreed on the Israeli defense point. Close to 100 local Palestinians & supporters called on the U.S. government to condemn Israeli aggression.

    "We're demanding that the strikes on both sides end, but the massacre that's happening in Gaza to stop," said Palestinian rally organizer Anas Amireh.

    Both local Israeli's and Palestinians say they want peace, but just how that peace will come to fruition remains a tense topic of discussion around the world and in South Florida.

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