Israel-Hamas war being watched from around the world, including in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Members of Rochester’s Jewish and Palestinian communities are closely watching the developments in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The conflict, which started more than seven decades ago, has hit home for both sides, which have been fighting since 1948. That’s when the state of Israel was created and Palestinians say their land was taken from them.

Palestinians and their supporters say they want to end living under Israeli occupation.

“When people are living under a military occupation, I think that something is going to happen, and something violent is going to happen, and it’s not necessarily justified by any means, but I think that we need to recognize that nobody deserves to be living under occupation, and that Palestinians need to be treated with dignity,” Iman Abid said.

Worldwide, Jewish people have expressed surprise at the indiscriminate attack, which killed over 1,100 people. Israel has declared war against Hamas.

“I fully support the retaliation, and I think everybody needs to support the retaliation,” Meredith Dragon, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester. “Any sovereign country that is attacked in the way Israel was attacked has the right to defend itself, and I think our obligation is to support Israel’s right.”

Monday night, both the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport and the County Office Building will be lit up in blue and white in honor of the people of Israel.