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San Diegans Protest Amid Growing Conflict Between Israel And Palestine

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallying in front of the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Office Building in downtown San Diego, May 18, 2021.
Jacob Aere
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallying in front of the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Office Building in downtown San Diego, May 18, 2021.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protestors were rallying in downtown San Diego Tuesday afternoon to demonstrate against the violent military and civil conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Supporters on both sides of the issue have been demonstrating in San Diego as the conflict enters its ninth day.

On Thursday some 200 to 300 people rallied for Israel outside the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla. Saturday, about 700 people marched in support of Palestinians in Balboa Park.

Tuesday's protest in front of the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Office Building was organized by the same group that held the Saturday rally. At 4 p.m., about 150 people showed up and more were expected.

“Living in the United States makes one tied to the region because the United States is a party to this conflict," said SDSU professor of political science Farid Abdel-Nour, who is of Palestinian descent and grew up in the West Bank. "It is not an observer to this conflict,” he said.

He attended Saturday's rally in solidarity with Palestine.

Protestors gather and hold signs in Balboa Park to show their solidarity with Palestine, May 15, 2021.
Andy Trimlett
Protestors gather and hold signs in Balboa Park to show their solidarity with Palestine, May 15, 2021.

RELATED: Fighting Continues Between Israel, Hamas After Biden Calls For Cease-Fire

San Diegans Protest Amid Growing Conflict Between Israel And Palestine

As Israel continued to trade airstrikes with rockets fired from Gaza on Tuesday, the United Nations said more than 52,000 Palestinians are considered internally displaced and there is a severe shortage of medical supplies.

The civilian injuries and death toll have been crushing, Abdel-Nour said.

“There has been a pretty horrendous death toll in the last eight days," he said. "On the Israeli side, twelve lives have been lost. On the Palestinian side, 232 lives have been lost.”

Abdel-Nour said the violence in the region is the worst since the 2014 Gaza War, and while not as long-lasting at this point, so far this conflict has been more intense.

“The most direct effect is the sense of being terrified that any moment a rocket might land, and that's been terrifying of course for Israeli civilians," he said. "For Palestinian civilians in Gaza, it is also the fear and the terror of having bombs dropped on you.”

RELATED: Israeli Airstrikes On Gaza Continue After Global Pro-Palestinian Protests

While world leaders, including President Joe Biden, are now overwhelmingly calling for a cease-fire to the fighting, neither side has yet agreed upon the terms to bring to violence to stop.