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.
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.”
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.
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.
Abuznaid’s Palestinian father, Nabil Abuznaid, is a U.S.-educated academic,who supported diplomatic efforts toward theestablishment 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.
Some Jewish families facing antisemitism around the world found refuge in South Florida just as the movement to create a Jewish homeland gained strength.
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.
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.
In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.