Mid-Michigan has ties to Middle East violence - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan has ties to Middle East violence

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(11/19/12) - Mid-Michigan residents with ties to the Middle East are saddened by what they see and hear. They hope the air strikes will stop and a real solution can be attained.

Emotions are running high as members of both communities fear the worst for their loved ones living near Jerusalem and the Gaza strip.

Palestinian American Mona Sahouri is very troubled by the images she sees coming out of her homeland. "What is going on is a complete terror and genocide of the Palestinians. Since Nov. 8, close to 100 have been killed."

Mona has family living not far from Jerusalem. She believes the recent escalation in violence was triggered by a targeted killing. "Israel provoked the cease fire on Nov. 8 when it assassinated a couple of Palestinians in the Gaza strip. Of course there was retaliation."

"Israel goes after where the missiles are coming from, they drop leaflets asking civilians to get away from the area. Missiles are fired from hospitals, schools, and from mosques, then Israel tried to target just where they're coming from but unfortunately it's hard to control the damage," said Steven Low, Flint Jewish Federation.

Low has a daughter living in Jerusalem. She's a member of the Israeli Army. "She told me at first was going about her normal business, she went shopping, yoga class then went to a Sabbath meal with friends and one by one they got called, had to be excused, they were being called up."

Low says 70,000 Israeli soldiers have been mobilized for duty in the event of a ground war, but for now it's been strictly an aerial conflict. "The Jewish community is very concerned and we offered condolences on both sides who have suffered. We hope this can be resolved quickly."

But Sahouri believes there's only way peace can be achieved. "Israel really needs to back out, and give Palestinians the right for freedom and human rights and to abide by international law."

Mona and Steven agree the Obama administration must play a vital role in the peace process.

On Nov. 21, the Arab American Heritage Council will hold a rally at noon in support of the Palestinian people at the UM-Flint Pavilion.

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