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South Florida Democrats stand with Israel amid fighting with Hamas

Israel-Hamas conflict continues in Gaza as protests start in West Bank
Israel-Hamas conflict continues in Gaza as protests start in West Bank

MIAMI – The intense aerial exchanges between Israel and Hamas continued on Friday in the Gaza Strip. The official death toll rose to more than 120.

Hamas has been firing rockets toward Israel since Monday. The Israeli military’s swift response included the deployment of warplanes.

Israel announced the latest mission was to destroy a network of tunnels that the jihadists use in the northern Gaza Strip.

Palestinians inspect their destroyed houses following overnight Israeli airstrikes in town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

As the United Nations moves to secure a cease-fire, U.S. President Joe Biden said he talked to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Democratic lawmakers from South Florida said they stand with Israel.

“The violence is a cynical Hamas power grab,” Rep. Lois Frankel said in Congress, adding that Hamas is “using policy disputes as an excuse for terrorism.”

Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Rep. Ted Deutch recently addressed the conflict at a Jewish Federation of Broward event and said there is a need for those who care about human rights to stand with Israel.

“We need to come together as we are,” Deutch said.

Palestinians flee their homes after overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods in the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Ahmad Abuznaid, an attorney based out of Virginia, disagrees. The anti-Israel activist, who has been accused of antisemitism, is the executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

“The framework that Israel has been operating under is that a Jewish life is more valuable than a non-Jewish life,” said Abuznaid, who was admitted to the Florida bar in 2012 after graduating from the Florida Coastal School of Law.

Palestinians flee their homes after overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods in the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Abuznaid’s Palestinian father, Nabil Abuznaid, is a U.S.-educated academic, who supported diplomatic efforts toward the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Flights from Miami to TelAviv were suspended as the airport in TelAviv remained closed on Friday because of the conflict.

Israeli border police swing their batons at Muslim worshippers gathered for Friday prayers at the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, Friday, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Historic perspective

  • Jewish-Arab tensions in Jerusalem go back to when the British ruled the territory under the League of Nations Palestine Mandate of the 1920s.
  • Some Jewish families facing antisemitism around the world found refuge in South Florida just as the movement to create a Jewish homeland gained strength.
Palestinians flee their homes to a U.N. school after overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods in the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
  • In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition territory between Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews.
  • In 1948, the British withdrew, Israel was born and the U.S. recognized it as a state.
A Muslim worshipper wears a Hamas flag during a protest against Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip following Friday prayers at the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, Friday, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
  • Hamas was founded in 1987 as a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization. The U.S. designated Hamas as a terrorist organization in 1997, and Hamas took control of Gaza about a decade later.
Israeli soldiers load ammunition onto an Armored Personal Carrier (APC) at a staging ground near the Israeli Gaza border, Friday, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov) (Associated Press)

Related stories

Israeli soldiers with armored vehicles gather in a staging ground near the border with Gaza Strip, southern Israel, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov) (Associated Press)
An Israeli attack helicopter flies by an Iron Dome air defense system as it launches to intercept rocket fired from Gaza Strip, at the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) (Copyright 2021The Associated Press All rights reserved)

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