DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A local man who lived in Palestine for years is calling for peace in Gaza, alongside protestors in Dayton.
Over 40 people gathered Wednesday at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton for an event organized by the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). The attendees showed up to call for an end to the fighting in Gaza.
Many signs and chants called for an end to deaths of innocent people in Gaza. 2 NEWS spoke with some protesters who want the US to issue a ceasefire, and to stop funding Israel during the war.
Peter Qumsiyeh is a dual citizen of both Palestine and the US. He says it’s been hard not being able to hear from friends and family, due to the area being cut off from the rest of the world.
“I don’t know if they’re still alive or if they just don’t have internet and electric,” Qumsiyeh said. “That’s why I haven’t heard from them. It’s really sad. You know, every day you live there. You don’t know if you’re going to see the next day or not.”
Protesters also made a clear message to President Biden at the event.
“The U.S. ending aid to Israel. They are funding this genocide and to end Israeli occupation of Palestine,” said Katie Thompson, event organizer, FRSO.
Thompson says seeing people of different beliefs come together like this gives her hope for the future. People of Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other backgrounds were at the protest in support of a ceasefire and defunding.
“I think it is incredible that people from all walks of life can gather around this common cause. I think that is incredible important.”
After an hour, protestors started to walk around the area, urging others to use their voices.
“Tell someone about it,” said Qumsiyeh. “We don’t have to support Israel. We don’t have to give our money to fund buying weapons to kill innocent people.”
The Biden Administration is expected to seek $60 billion in aid for both the Israel and Ukraine wars.
According to the US News and World Report, since WWII, the US has provided more than $260 billion in foreign aid to Israel.