New York City, NY — by Alex Tey and Sydney Barragan
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
NYU students joined hundreds of demonstrators at Washington Square Park and Times Square Sunday afternoon in protest of the ongoing conflict between Palestinian militants and the Israeli military.
On Saturday, the Palestinian militant group Hamas fired rockets, infiltrated towns and took civilians hostage in one of the largest strikes on Israel in decades, with over 900 reported dead and thousands wounded. In response, the Israeli military launched airstrikes and heavy artillery into the Gaza Strip, killing at least 830 Palestinians and injuring thousands.
Sophomores Benjamin Meppen and Omer Hortig, in partnership with The Israel Journal at NYU, organized a pro-Israel rally at Washington Square Park. They were joined by over 50 students, alumni and local supporters carrying signs and waving Israeli flags.
“I have a lot of friends from high school who sat alongside me in math class and are now in a tank in Gaza right now,” Meppen said. “These are people who are just like you or I. They’re 18, 19, 20 years old, and defending the Jewish homeland.”
In a statement to the NYU community on Sunday, university president Linda Mills described Hamas’ offensive as an “uncommonly intense” terrorist attack and said leadership at the university’s study away program in Tel Aviv is working to ensure student safety.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.