CLEVELAND (WJW) – As the body count continues to pile up in Gaza, protesters across the United States are calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
On Saturday, a coalition of 15 organizations and several hundred protesters gathered on Public Square in downtown Cleveland to demand action.
“To demand a humanitarian ceasefire to the indiscriminate bombing collective punishment that’s occurring in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli state,” Co-Executive Director of the Arab-American Voter Project Jacob Saliba said. “We’re asking for a halt to foreign aid to the state of Israel and a long-term solution to the conflict.”
Many at the protest were motivated to act after seeing destruction and death on social media.
“I think it’s very important that we see what is true,” West Cleveland resident Markus Simicak said. “These Palestinians need help. These Palestinians need a voice and it doesn’t matter where you are from or who you really support. The end of the day, we’ve all got to come together and oppose this terrible thing that’s happening in Gaza.”
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported more than 4,100 deaths and more than 13,000 injuries after the 14th day of war. It also reported more than 1,400 people are missing under rubble, including hundreds of children.
The Jewish Federation of Cleveland was not available for an on-camera interview but did respond to FOX 8 by email about the growing support for Palestine stateside:
“Israel is at war with Hamas, a terrorist organization. Hamas is determined to obliterate the state of Israel and the people of Israel. It’s in their charter. This is why they brutally slaughtered innocent people; kidnapped hundreds to hold as hostages; and purposely expose Palestinian children and families to violence by using them as human shields.”
One woman at the protest, who did not want to be named, hopes the rallies across the country can draw attention for a peaceful resolution.
“I think this (protesting) is the only thing that works,” she said. “Certainly, bombs don’t work. Certainly, aggression doesn’t work. This works. People are coming out all over the globe, not just in the United States, not just in Cleveland, all over.”
The Palestinian Ministry of Health is calling for aid to more than 20 healthcare centers that have run out of fuel and supplies to treat injured people.
The White House recently announced it is seeking funding to address humanitarian needs for innocent civilians in Israel and Gaza.