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Pro-Palestinian rallies take place across Connecticut

Jewish community members and friends march October 18, 2023, in New Haven calling on the U.S. to stop support of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Eddy Martinez
/
Connecticut Public
Protestors denouncing the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza gather outside the Bridgeport Islamic Community Center October 20, 2023

As the war between Israel and Hamas rages overseas many Palestinian Americans in Connecticut, and their allies, are speaking out.

Rallies and protests calling for a ceasefire have happened at various locations across the state. Some are calling on members of Connecticut's congressional delegation, like Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, to support a ceasefire.

A student organization at Yale University, called Yalies4Palestine, held a rally on the New Haven Green Sunday. Many people from the surrounding area were in attendance.

The social media post made by the group for the event featured a message that said, “End U.S. sponsored genocide in Gaza.”

Palestinian Americans at the event like Noor Sharreef, shared their personal experiences. Sharreef said he doesn’t want to pick up the phone and call his family in Gaza.

“To be honest, I did not want to call because I’m afraid no one will answer," Sharreef said. "That’s what happened to many people that I know.”

At one point during the New Haven protest a heated conversation ensued when two protestors were confronted by a Jewish woman who was on the other side of their position. This incident was unsettling to some Jewish Yale students, like Zachary Suri, who looked on at the rally.

“It makes all of us uncomfortable to think about this history, but I don’t think this is the right forum to have a conversation about the conflict. This protest has made me feel unsafe,” Suri said.

“We need to hear Palestinian voices, but we always need to care for our Jewish community members,” Suri said.

Calls for a ceasefire in Gaza did not only come from Palestinian Americans.

One member of the organization known as the Jewish Voice for Peace, Stanley Heller, stood in solidarity with those protesting outside the Bridgeport Islamic Community Center Friday. They denounced the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza.

“They cut off the water, the electricity and the food. How can people live? There's two million people there,” Heller said.

The World Health Organization today called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

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