Israelis and Palestinians rally for peace overseas

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Israel and Hamas were launching new attacks on Sunday, despite talk from both sides of a cease fire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Hamas showed it could not be trusted after it violated other cease-fire efforts.

As those rockets continue to launch in the Middle East, both sides were calling for peace back home in Indiana.

At the Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis the goal Sunday afternoon was to give people an inside view of what Israelis are dealing with overseas.

However, not everyone, especially those who disagree with them, were allowed inside. The event was standing room only, as people stood in solidarity to support Israel and ask for peace. It was so packed that several people had to wait outside for safety reasons.

“About 36 hours ago we did find out that there were a number of people who clearly stated that their intent was to come in and disrupt the proceedings,” said David Sklar Director of Government Affairs for Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council.

Some people were stopped at the door, including Ahmed Mitiche a Palestine supporter who was denied access to the event.

“We planned on walking out peacefully to show our solidarity with Palestine and to protest the killings of over 1,000 innocent civilians as of last night,” shared Mitiche.

Volunteers were screening those coming in, checking bags, but also trying to pick out who might disrupt their peace rally.

Since the community center is private property, organizers had the right to deny to them.

But Mitiche said it felt more like racial profiling.

“We planned it peacefully. We did not mean to cause anybody harm, or any trouble to happen”, Mitiche told 24-Hour News 8.

“Those individuals have protested a number of times here in Indianapolis over the last couple weeks and the Jewish community has made no effort to counter protest or disrupt their proceedings and we simply wanted to have the same experience here,” said Sklar.

The disruption never happened and Israeli supporters continued their rally. Outside on public property, Palestinian supporters quietly did the same.

The rally had a peaceful ending, something both sides hope will happen overseas.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers as well as Marion County Sheriff’s deputies were at the event to make sure that tension didn’t boil over.

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