Palestinian rally in downtown Orlando brings together hundreds
Maram Al Dada was on his way to Lake Eola to protest the Israel-Hamas war when he received a message informing him that a missile had hit near his family's Gaza home.
Al Dada says that while no one was hurt and the damage was minimal, he couldn't shake the fear.
"I'm still shaking thinking about it," he said.
He took that fear and channeled it in front of hundreds of human rights advocates and those with Palestinian lineage Saturday afternoon at the Lake Eola amphitheater during a rally for Palestine. Supporters marched through the park and Downtown Orlando to City Hall in support of freeing those living in Gaza from the violence of the Israel-Hamas war.
"I would like people to educate themselves about what's happening," said Al Dada, an organizer with the Florida Palestine Network, which hosted the event. "People have been suffering, unable to see their families, like myself, for 20 years now."
Leading the march through the heart of Orlando was Rasha Mubarak, an organizer with the FPN. Murbarak said the march had two goals: to spread the message of Palestine's 75-year-old history of violence under Israel and to call on politicians to end U.S. aid to Israel.
"We have the masses of people who are standing with the people of Palestine. They are standing for human rights for all," she said. "The Israeli aggression needs to end. The occupation (under Israel) needs to end. The siege needs to end."
Israel is soon expected to begin a ground assault in Gaza City. Last Saturday, Hamas militants attacked Israel killing more than 1300 people. In response, it's estimated that Israel has killed more than 2200 people in Gaza.