HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The ‘Peace for Palestine’ rally began and ended at the Madison County Courthouse in Downtown Huntsville Saturday afternoon.
Several signs and chants were shared among the crowd – everyone standing in solidarity for Palestine following the overseas conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“As you can see, I am Muslim, but I am also American…born and raised,” Protester Casmira Kuhn said. “I was taught history and in American history, we had to resist a tyrant. I think that is something Americans need to learn and to remember…our own history and what we did when we were in this kind of situation.”
Some say Palestine is a nation of people who share a heritage, a language, and cultural customs. It’s why they tell News 19 this isn’t just a Muslim issue, it’s a human issue.
“The reason we’re supporting Ukraine is because we believe it is their right to defend themselves and their land. Why can’t we do that for the people of Palestine and recognize that they are also a coherent nation of people?” asked Kuhn.
Protesters who gathered Saturday say Palestinians deserve liberty and independence, but they can’t do that while they’re being occupied by another nation.
“I’m from Palestine and this means a lot to me. I have family overseas and just hearing from them makes it feel so real to me, and I feel like many other people don’t understand that,” Peace for Palestine Organizer Asmmaa Zaitar said. “This is something that’s happened for 75 years of the occupation and me not being able to call Palestine my home. I can’t even go in there because of the borders and the Israelis stopping me from going in there.”
The death toll has now reached 4,385 — including 1,756 children and 967 women — in addition to 13,561 injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza during a news conference on Saturday. 70% of the casualties are women, children and elderly people, the ministry spokesperson said.
Hamas, a militant group based in Gaza, launched an attack on Israel earlier this month, killing thousands of people and taking hundreds of others hostage. Israel attacked Gaza in retaliation, killing thousands of Palestinians and leaving many relying on humanitarian aid for food and water.