BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Leaders worldwide are calling for peace in Israel and Gaza as attacks from Hamas continue.
On Wednesday, President Biden visited Israel in hopes of resolving the conflict. One concerned Birmingham resident described Hamas’s attack on Israel as the Holocaust repeating itself.
Sallie Downs, a volunteer at the Alabama Holocaust Education Center, says she is not okay knowing that she has family still in Israel.
“When this war broke out just right up the street from them, Hamas infiltrated the mashave and murdered the people there, and that was less than five minutes from my sister’s house,” Downs said.
She says her family is in a safe place, but her brother died 24 hours after being moved from their home in Israel. Downs attended the funeral virtually, but how he was laid to rest is still affecting her.
“As they were carrying his coffin through the cemetery where he was going to be laid to rest, I saw grave after grave waiting already waiting for bodies that they know will be coming,” Downs said.
The death toll from the war between Israel and Hamas is over 4,000. Downs tells me her biggest concern is that this war will last a long time.
“I would like for this to end soon, for we wouldn’t have any more casualties,” Downs said.
Lisa Bachman, executive director of the Alabama Holocaust Education Center, hopes for peace and an end to the conflict. Bachman also hopes people will come together will this war continues.
“We need to stick together, we need to advocate together, we need to be together in order to cope,” Bachman said.
President Biden committed to $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza and the West Bank to support those displaced in the ongoing conflict.