DENVER (CBS4) – Supporters of both Palestine and Israel rallied downtown on Saturday to urge a peaceful end to fighting in Gaza and Israel that’s claimed hundreds of lives. But the finger-pointing for the attacks continued.
“We are here to stand by and hopefully get a voice out there that we are standing by the people of Gaza and we are demanding the end of this invasion,” a protestor told CBS4 at the state capitol rally. “These murders of these children and these people is beyond belief.”
Some alleged that Israel is purposely targeting children and women.
One sign with blood-red handprints at the pro-Palestine rally read, “STOP the Massacre in GAZA STOP Israel’s WAR CRIMES.” Protestors chanted, “Palestine will never die!”
“So many children have been dying, so many women and innocent civilians. It’s just not right. I’m Palestinian myself. I see all my Palestinian friends back home showing all these videos of what’s happening and it’s just torture. I can’t go on Facebook anymore without tearing up,” Mohamad Zeitawi said.
Sunday marked the deadliest day in the fighting so far. Israel said 13 soldiers were killed, and the Palestinian Health Ministry said 87 Palestinians had died in attacks. According to CBS News, the violence has claimed at least 420 Palestinians and 20 Israelis.
Rabbi Joseph Black, of Temple Emanuel, told CBS4 that Jews wish for peace, but Israel must respond to attacks by Hamas, the leading militant group in Gaza. He also said Hamas is using children and civilians as shields.
“This is not an isolated incident. Hamas is deliberately placing rockets where civilians are to maximize the casualty for civilians. It’s horrible,” he said.
The temple held a peace prayer this week that drew 1,000 people.
“I don’t want to see Jews being killed. I don’t want to see Muslims being killed,” Black said. “We want to put a stop to this, but this was not Israel’s choice to go into this war. This was a deliberate attack by Hamas and Israel has no choice but to defend herself.”