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Students take to UA Mall in support of Palestine

Posted at 12:15 PM, Apr 25, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — STORY UPDATE:
Supporters of both Palestine and Israel gathered at the University of Arizona today in a display of contrasting sentiments amid the ongoing conflict between the Israeli government and Hamas.

The event, which followed a series of protests across the country, aimed to voice opinions and garner support for both sides of the issue.

The "Free Palestine" protest drew a crowd advocating for Palestinian freedom and denouncing the violence and suffering endured by civilians in the region.
One attendee, Ahmed Alshamari, emphasized the importance of solidarity and highlighted the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis.

"It's hard watching people who are helpless get bombed and innocent children get killed every day," he said.

Alshamari stressed the need for international recognition of the plight faced by Palestinians and rejected the notion that protestors must present a solution to advocate against violence.

Simultaneously, a counter-protest in support of Israel took place, with participants like Gal Melman expressing concerns about the involvement of Hamas in the conflict.

Melman, hailing from Israel, called for dialogue and emphasized the need to prioritize the release of hostages held in Gaza.

"Hamas cannot be in power," she said. "Because they’re terrorizing not only their people but ours as well.

She also said that while the broader conflict between Isreal and Hamas might not have an immediate solution, there is a way to stop the current fighting

"I think the most important, vital thing that will end a lot of the fighting is to bring back all the hostages," she said.

Despite the divergent viewpoints, both protests remained peaceful, underscoring a commitment to non-violent expression of dissent.

The gathering served as a microcosm of the broader debate surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with individuals advocating for differing solutions and emphasizing the importance of dialogue and recognition of human suffering on all sides.

The event at the University of Arizona highlights the complex and deeply entrenched nature of the conflict, underscoring the need for continued efforts towards peacebuilding and resolution.

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Students and community members are marching on the University of Arizona Mall Thursday in support of Palestine as similar rallies and protests are taking place across the nation.

According to organizers on social media, a series of planned protests are taking place across the country at a large number of universities.

KGUN 9 will have reactions from student participants and opponents later in today's newscast.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Today's 5 & 6 p .m. newscasts will be airing only on our digital platforms, here on kgun9.com.

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