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Nebraskans for Peace rally for independence for Palestinian people

'It's awful. You worry for your loved ones that you have over there'
Posted at 6:49 PM, Oct 13, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraskans for Peace has been organizing rallies at 72nd and Dodge Streets in support of the Palestinian people. A few members of the group — Sandie Hanna, Sharon Conlon, and Karima Alabsy —met 3 News Now in Stinson Park to talk about the conflict between the Israeli government and Hamas in Gaza.

Alabsy was born and raised in Omaha, but her dad immigrated from the West Bank in the 1980s. Her family there is safe, but the war feels close.

"It's awful. You worry for your loved ones that you have over there,” said Alabsy. “I mean, I know that my family is from the West Bank, but I still have people I care about who are in Gaza. You worry about what's going to happen and it's really heartbreaking to see the international community, our politicians, corporations, who seem to see Palestinian lives as expendable and able to just brush that aside."

To describe the history and politics of the region as “complicated” is an understatement. Fatah is the local government in the West Bank. Hamas is the ruling party in Gaza. Neither territory is an independent nation.

"To focus just on Gaza, they haven't had democratic elections there since 2007. So, the U.S. and Israel both acknowledge Hamas as a terrorist organization, but clearly, it's not representative of the people, if they're not democratically elected," said Alabsy.

She, and the other members of Nebraskans for Peace, want people to understand that this conflict has a long history.

"Any innocent life that is lost is a tragedy,” said Alabsy. “I can't say that I was surprised that it happened. This hasn't happened in a vacuum. The people in Gaza have been under this blockade for 16 years. They have no freedom of movement, no independence."

Sharon Conlon has also been part of the demonstrations.

"The reason I'm involved in it is because I value equality. The Israeli government doesn't offer equality to Palestinians. And I just think that's so egregious," said Conlon.

The group wants to see a humanitarian corridor opened up so Palestinians can receive supplies. Ultimately, the group says they want freedom and independence for the Palestinian people.

"Whether it's a two-state or a one-state, people need to be treated equally regardless of whether they're Muslim, Christian or Jewish, Palestinian or Israeli," said Alabsy.

RELATED:Omaha woman living in Israel shares experiences following Hamas attacks

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