CLEVELAND — A group of demonstrators gathered in Crocker Park Friday evening to protest and demand "an end to Israeli assaults on Palestinians from Sheik Jarrah to Jerusalem to Gaza."
A rally was held on the sidewalks outside of Crocker Park Mall where Palestinian-Americans and supporters stood in solidarity with signs and calls for peace.
The latest clashes between Israel and Palestine began a month ago with an Israeli move to block some Palestinian gatherings at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. After those restrictions eased, tensions over a plan to evict dozens of Palestinians from an east Jerusalem neighborhood continued to fuel confrontations.
The Palestinian Resistance of Cleveland, led by Ismail Khadair, as well as Cleveland Peace Action and Jewish Voice for Peace Cleveland (JVP), among others, said what is happening in Palestine is not a religious issue but rather a "human rights issue."
“We seek the end of Israeli apartheid; we champion peace, human rights and international law," said Pam Beck of the local JVP chapter.
Gaza health officials said that 24 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, most by airstrikes, since cross-border fighting erupted. They said nine children were among the dead.
Another rally is planned for Saturday at Cleveland Public Square at 2 p.m.