Israel-Palestinian conflict hits close to home in Rhode Island

Click here to view abc6 news segment that aired on July 16, 2014

by Mike LaCrosse

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is hitting close to home for people in the Jewish community.

“This is the homeland for our people.  This is a situation of grave concern for all of us,” said Jeffrey Savit, President of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

Israeli Maor Mintz is working with the Jewish Association for the summer.  He grew up about a mile from the Gaza border.

“Sometimes we just hear the whistle of the rockets coming,” said Mintz.

He says the threat of bombs is a sadly reality his people live with.

“First of all it’s very scary, but now a days unfortunately we have kids in Israel that were born to this reality of living with the rocket threat and with the constant sirens,” said Mintz.

He’s worried about his parents and siblings still at home.
“My sister is in high school now and she is missing her finals in her high school because of the bombs.  My younger brother is a student and the studies were suspended,” said Mintz.

He’s hoping for a resolution to the conflict.

In the meantime, President Obama weighted in Wednesday saying the United States will use all of its diplomatic resources and relationships to secure a deal on a cease-fire to end violence between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Obama says the U.S. supports Egypt’s continued efforts to restore the 2012 cease-fire.

He says the U.S. is working with its partners in the region to secure a cease-fire and will stay in close contact over the next 24 hours.

Obama says Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket attacks. But in remarks Wednesday at the White House, he’s also lamenting the deaths of civilians in Gaza.

He’s stressing the need to protect civilians in Gaza and in Israel and to avoid further escalation.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2014/AP

Israel-Palestinian conflict hits close to home in Rhode Island

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