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Large crowd gathers for rally in support of Palestinian rights in Westwood area

Hundreds of demonstrators marched near the Federal Building in West Los Angeles on Saturday to voice their support of Palestinian rights.

Holding signs calling for better conditions for the Palestinian population, demonstrators rallied while holding flags, and chanting in hopes of getting their message heard and raising awareness in a peaceful protest.

“I feel really sad, I feel like the world has come to a very cold place,” one protester named Giovanna said.

Protestor Thawra Faleesteen said she decided to participate in the rally due to her opposition of decades of Israeli military occupation of the region home to roughly 2 million Palestinians.

“We can’t talk about last week as a random incident, we need to again look at the history,” Faleesteen said. “What happened last week isn’t sudden, it’s not out of nowhere.”

Lisa Schultz, who works with LA-based nonprofit The Peace Project, said her experience firsthand living in Gaza is what inspired her to show up at the rally and work with the organization

“I’ve been working in Gaza and West Bank for 10 years and I’ve seen nothing but violence against Palestinians,” Schultz said. “We created a healing space there because we realized that everyone in Gaza is traumatized.”

The rally comes as tensions continue in the Middle East following Hamas militants’ surprise and deadly attack on Israel last week. Hamas’ surprise attack killed more than 1,300 people on the Israeli side, most of them civilians, and roughly 1,500 Hamas militants died during the fighting, the Israeli government said.

The Gaza Health Ministry said Saturday that over 2,200 people have been killed in the territory, including 724 children and 458 women. The Hamas communications office said Israel has “completely demolished” over 7,000 housing units so far. 

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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