SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL/AP) — Hundreds of people came together at the state Capitol Sunday to stand in solidarity with Palestinians overseas.
Those at the rally called on the United States to step in and stop the bloodshed in the Israel-Hamas conflict on the Gaza Strip.
The war broke out last Monday, when the Hamas militant group fired long-range rockets at Jerusalem after weeks of clashes in the holy city between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police. The protests were focused on the heavy-handed policing of a flashpoint sacred site during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers.
Demonstrators of all ages stood on the steps of the Capitol, waving Palestinian flags and signs that said, “The world stands with Palestine.”
“We are out here because we need to be out here,” said demonstrator Crystal Omaryar. “This isn’t a Muslim cause. This is a human rights cause.”
Since the fighting began, the Israeli military has launched hundreds of airstrikes it says are targeting Hamas’ militant infrastructure. Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired more than 3,200 rockets into Israel. Israeli military officials said Hamas had stockpiled about 15,000 rockets before the war started.
At least 200 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes, including 59 children and 35 women, with 1,300 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Eight people in Israel have been killed in rocket attacks launched from Gaza, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier.
Across the country, pro-Palestinian groups have been met by counter-protesters from the Israeli side. There were no counter-protests in Sacramento.