UPDATE: Local Israeli, Palestinian discuss impact of latest Gaza - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Local Israeli, Palestinian discuss impact of latest Gaza violence

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As the violence continues between Israel and the militant group Hamas, both the Jewish and Palestinian communities here are hoping for the best.

But they seem realistic that this latest flare up of violence may not end anytime soon.

While Israel's iron dome defense system has shot down Hamas rockets and spared lives, over 170 Palestinians in Gaza are dead, the majority of which were civilians.

Samir El-Omari, a Palestinian who grew up in Egypt and now lives in Madison, told 27 News he fears for the safety of his family members.

"Very worried, especially that I have family, I have uncles, I have cousins in Gaza," said El-Omari.  "My uncle's grandchildren, they try to sleep just covering their ears because of the bombings."

"Israel has been using a lot of force," admits Mickey Aziz Komar, an Israeli Fellow at the Hillel Center at UW-Madison.

Komar knows first hand the strength of the Israeli Defense Forces, serving as a soldier in the military there for three years.  But Komar is not sure how to feel about this latest round of violence.
"It raises many, many questions about what we're doing and also to what, what is right?  What is right to feel?," asked Komar.

Komar said because Gaza is so densely populated, it is hard to bomb targets there without killing civilians and believes it is up to Hamas to end the violence.

"The Israeli government keeps on saying that quiet will be answered with quiet," said Komar. 

But El-Omari says the Israeli government is being disingenuous.

"The claim that Hamas started that up and if they would stop Israel would stop is wrong, because it is reported in the U.N. that the last six months Israel has broke the cease fire many times," said El-Omari.

Both men say the average person in the region doesn't care how peace comes as long as it does.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Over 170 Palestinians living in Gaza have now died in the ongoing Middle East violence between Hamas and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) that started on July 8th. 

The impact of the violence is being felt by hundreds of people living in south central Wisconsin that are either from that region or have family living there.

27 News will be discussing the latest round of attacks with Mickey Aziz Komar, an Israeli Fellow at the UW-Madison Hillel Center and Samir El-Omari, a native Palestinian who chairs the Madison chapter of Playgrounds for Palestine.

You can hear their thoughts on the violence on 27 News at 5 and 6.

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