HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Central Pennsylvania Committee of Masajid (CPCOM) hosted a peaceful rally at the Pa. Capitol building steps and ending at Kunkel Plaza on Sunday. Dozens of Palestinian Americans took the stage to stand up for their native land.
CPCOM, which represents Midstate Muslim residents, is responding to the latest conflict from Israel on Palestine escalate into a full-scale war. The group says they wanted to come together to support Palestinians and basic human decency.
There were chants of “free free Palestine” as multiple speakers called on the violence to stop in the Middle East. Tensions have been high for decades, but the current fighting between Israel and Gaza is the worst it’s been since 2014.
According to the Israeli Defense Forces, Hamas has fired 3,100 rockets from Gaza in the past 7 days. Israel has also fired back, the IDF says it’s targeting military operations and warning civilians to evacuate. Though dozens of civilians have been killed in the Gaza strip.
“If you say we’re trying to hit the organizations that are bombing us, but in the meantime, we’re killing hundreds of innocent people, there’s obviously a better way,” Protester Ameen Rahman said. “We don’t have to drop just aimless bombs that will kill hundreds of people.”
“We, the Muslim citizens of central Pennsylvania, have watched in horror as Israel has escalated their baseline oppression of Palestinians into a full-scale, murderous war,” CPCOM said in a press release. “Imagine troops trampling through, burning, and launching stun grenades in the Vatican – what would be the correct response then – and yet one group is told that the mere act of protest warrants heavy-handed police action and then is a ‘conflict’ born of two equal sides?”
Protesters say Israel isn’t just defending itself. They instigated this war by trying to evict Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
CPCOM represents a large number of Mosques in the Midstate, including Carlisle, Mechanicsburg, Harrisburg, Hershey, Lebanon, and Lancaster.
Stay tuned to abc27 as this story develops.