LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — As the Israel and Hamas conflict continues, members of the Lafayette community came together in peace to let their voice be heard and show support for Palestinians in Gaza.

As the Israel-Hamas war continues to escalate, many protest across the U.S. have begun to pop up calling for a cease fire. In Louisiana, Lafayette becomes the latest Louisiana city where residents have come out to protest, calling for a cease fire in Israel and showing support for Palestinians in Gaza.

The latest round of conflicts between Israel and Hamas has brought unprecedented violence to the region. The Palestinian Ministry of Health have reported the number of people killed from Israeli bombardment in Gaza has surpassed 10,000, nearly half of which have been children. The Israeli Defense Force has reported around 1,400 Israelis have been killed, most of which occurred in the initial Hamas attack on Oct. 7.

The UN also reported that over a million Palestinians were displaced in just the first few days of the conflict.

As residents in Lafayette turned out to protest, protester Hesham Tillawi told News 10 why these protest are happening.

“What is going on in Gaza is a genocidal war and it did not start on Oct. 7, this has been going on for over a hundred years. The Palestinians have been under occupation for 75 years and in some parts for 56 years,” Tillawi explained. “All these bombs falling, they are killing women and children and old people. They are bombing hospitals, they are bombing schools. We have hundreds and thousands of people dying and nobody is doing anything about it.”

Leila Pineda, another protester, says this issue is bigger than just Palestine, it is an issue for all humans.

“To anyone watching that thinks this is not an issue about you because you’re either not from Palestine or you don’t have family that’s from Palestine, it is your issue. Humans are being killed. If you have compassion towards anything, you should be researching, you should be aware of what’s going on,” said Pineda.

As a mother watching the horror unfolding in Gaza, Haneen Abdallah sends a message to mothers in Gaza and says her purpose is to help spread awareness of the ongoing war.

“As a mother myself, every night I go to sleep I look at my children. I can’t imagine but I know the women that are going through so much over there losing their children, we think of you,” said Abdallah. “We’re an extension of you, that’s our cause and we’re keeping up, we’re trying, we’re trying through social media, through personal messages. This can’t go on.”

Protester John Griffin explains why he feels people should not be supporting this war.

“I ask, who’s getting whooped up on? Who’s the little guy? Who needs some support? Because when you’re looking up at a B-52 bomber, things get messed up. So I don’t think we should be supporting a country that whoops up on little people that don’t even have bombers to fight with. All they got is a few tunnels and a few rockets. I don’t think that’s a war that we want to support,” said Griffin.

Protesters said they hoped the protest would help inform everyone of what is taking place around the world in hopes of stopping this war once and for all.

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