Israeli ground offensive sparks protest at fountain square

Free Palestine rally at Fountain Square
Photo: FOX19/Gordon Graham
Photo: FOX19/Gordon Graham

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Protests against Israel's offensive in Gaza have been staged all around the world including right here in Cincinnati.

FOX19's Gordon Graham was at Fountain Square where hundreds gathered today calling for an end to Israel's ground campaign.

The crowd at Fountain Square numbered more than 500 and their message to Israel is to end the violence.

They chanted, waved flags and placards and called for peace in Gaza.

Zade Nabi says word of the protest spread like wildfire over social media and he says the conflict must end. "A lot of Israeli's have been killing a lot of innocent children and we just want it to stop."

Karen Dabdoub, Executive Director of the Cincinnati chapter of the Council American Islamic Relations says the violence is heartbreaking. "This is something that really shocks the conscience to see the death toll is now over 400. The injury count is up over 2500. The people in Gaza are living in a virtual prison."

The fate of the innocent victims of war is what troubles many of the protesters. "When you see kids die every day, they were just born and have nothing to do with politics that's really what makes me sad, every one of us sad that's what why we all gathered together today." 

Aaron Roco from Terrace Park says the Palestinians have been getting a raw deal. "I think a lot of attention that's been brought to this issue has been one sided and it's nice to see that people are out here speaking directly about the plight of the people of Gaza and of Palestine and speaking directly to Cincinnati."

In our commitment to balanced news fox19 reached out to Sarah Weiss with the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. Weiss says the loss of life is tragic. "We mourn the loss of lives of Palestinians, of Israelis, of all of those caught in this horrific conflict. However, there's one perpetrator and that perpetrator is Hamas which is a terrorist organization." 

Weiss says Cincinnati's Jewish community is hoping for a peaceful solution to the conflict and she has a message for the Palestinian people. "Our Jewish community hopes for their safety and security and that they are actually able to free themselves of Hamas which is a terror organization which is really using its own people against Israel, using its people as civilians as human shields."

It's worth noting that there are about 200 people from the Cincinnati in Israel at this moment and of course the folks here at home are awaiting their safe return.

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