HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Many gathered in Huntsville Saturday night, lifting their voices in song, praying for peace, and remembering those who’ve lost their lives in Israel.
The country of Israel is fighting back after the Palestinian militant group “Hamas” executed a surprise attack Saturday consisting of missiles, and assaults on the ground, leading to deaths, injuries, and kidnappings.
“What is going on right now is unprecedented it was unexpected and the gravity is very very huge,” said Temple B’Nai Sholom Rabbi PJ Schwartz.
“We are all heartbroken and sad with the attacks all throughout Israel, and we firmly believe when you gather together as a community, you are spreading light and defeating darkness and you are choosing love over hate,” said Temple B’Nai Sholom Rabbi PJ Schwartz.
The number of victims in Israel surpassed 1,000 people on Monday morning as air strikes continued from Gaza militants.
Candlelight lit the vigil brought together people of different faiths from across the city. Members of the local Jewish community said they have been encouraged by the support shown.
“It’s amazing and uplifting to see the people of other faiths come,” Sharon Frost, a former president of the Temple B’Nai Sholom’s Board of Directors told News 19.
Frost went to Israel earlier this year on what she described as a transformative trip. she said its heartbreaking to see such tragic events play out on the television.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu officially declared war against Hamas since the attacks, and has retaliated with military power of its own.
Rabbi Schwartz said he encourages people to support Israel in the coming days. He said this tragedy impacts many, both Israelis and Palestinians.
“The extremist terrorist organization or group that infiltrated Israel yesterday is not representative of all of Islam,” Rabbi Schwartz said. “It’s not representative of all Palestinians. In fact, the majority of Muslims are seeking peace just like everybody else. They too are being impacted by this catastrophe.”
While an official death toll has not been released by the state of Israel, at least 700 have died following attacks made by HAMAS.