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Jewish community shaken by loss of life; rally held at UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two sides are divided. On Monday in Jacksonville, Palestinians and the Jewish community had rallies amid the fighting in Israel and Gaza.

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Action News Jax was live from the University of Florida where one of those rallies took place. The Jewish community is shaken by the loss of life.

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Since the militant group, Hamas claimed responsibility for hundreds dying in Israel many at the rally said they don’t know when this war will end.

“Absolute, heinous, pure evil,” Rabbi Shmuli Novack said.

Israel has declared war against the militant terror group Hamas, a group responsible for hundreds of deaths after this weekend’s attacks.

Rabbi Shmuli Novack of Chabad of Southside, said this attack on Israel is senseless.

“Murdering little babies, there is no rationale, there is no political system in which that is acceptable,” Rabbi Novack said.

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Rabbi Novack said he currently has family living in Israel, adding they are terrified right now.

“They are suffering tremendously... Thank God everybody in my immediate family is safe and alive. But it’s certainly a massive toll,” Rabbi Novack said.

Earlier today, Palestinians had their own rally downtown at the Duval County Courthouse.

Sara Mahmoud with the Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network explained why this conflict is happening.

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“It’s important to understand that these events of last weekend didn’t happen in a vacuum,” Mahmoud said.

Mahmoud adds this conflict between Palestinians and Israelis goes back 75 years.

“While two million Palestinians live in Gaza now, a lot of those people were pushed out of their homes for the creation of the state of Israel in 1948,” Mahmoud said. “I’ll reiterate, we don’t like to see the loss of lives anywhere.”

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Mahmoud also said Palestinians have tried non-violent means of resistance before, but those efforts have failed.

Ogen Gahanian, who is a former first sergeant in the Israeli military said he is heartbroken by this war and can’t believe it’s happening.

“Not in a lifetime. This is a horror movie,” Gahanian said. “I’ve been in the army, and places like Gaza.. I served most of my service in that area. I never imagined the atrocities that could come out from there.”

Ghanian said he isn’t sure when this war will end but wants everyone in his country to be safe.

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