A group of nearly 100 protesters gathered in Triangle Park Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil in opposition to Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.
The purpose of the event was “to show the support for the victims who are being killed,” said Jamil Farooqui, president of the Islamic Society of Central Kentucky. “They are innocent.”
More than 370 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,400 injured in four days of Israeli airstrikes against Gaza.
A six-month cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, a militant group that seized control of Gaza in 2007, broke down earlier this month. Hamas says Israel has breached agreements by imposing a painful economic blockade on Gaza and staging military strikes.
But Israel says it has grown weary of the more than 10,000 rockets and mortar shells that have been fired into the country from Gaza since 2001.
Farooqui said the protesters hoped to urge the U.S. government to help bring an end to the fighting.
“Both parties need to come on one page,” he said. “We need to go back to the cease-fire and start the peace process again.”
The Islamic Society of Central Kentucky co-sponsored the event along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the University of Kentucky Muslim Student Association.
“It’s not something that we can turn off and just forget,” said Fatima Shalash, a member of the board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and a lead organizer of the vigil. “They’re fighting for their lives.”
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