AUSTIN (KXAN) — While the Israel-Hamas war rages on thousands of miles away, it’s hurting many people living right here in Central Texas.
Sunday, hundreds of protestors filled the front of the Texas Capitol and downtown streets.
Some were pro-Israel and others were pro-Palestine. The two groups had rallies back to back.
‘There has to be a change’
The Austin branch of the Israeli-American council and the Texas Israel Alliance held its rally first.
“Two members of my extended family have been murdered in cold blood,” said one speaker at the rally. “You cannot tolerate it. This time there has to be a change.”
Many that attended said they’ve been personally touched by this conflict.
“There is many people that we know that has been killed, murdered,” said Yaniv Dotan. “I could not do anything besides sitting at home, watch the news and just crying.”
’75 years of being killed’
Right after that, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, a student organization at UT Austin, hosted its own rally that brought out hundreds.
“The occupying Israeli government has removed access to food, water, electricity, and housing for a lot of Palestinians as they forced them to leave their own land, while they’re also being bombed,” said one of the organizers.
People here told KXAN there needs to be more awareness about the history of this conflict and the Palestinian’s struggle.
“75 years of being killed and being homeless or being unsafe. People forget that these are real people, real children, real families, real homes that are being destroyed,” said people attending the rally.
Ultimately, it’s a situation that’s broken many hearts here.
Both rallies were a chance for people to get together and feel supported by their communities.
The Austin Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety monitored both crowds and helped escort the Palestinian march around Downtown Austin.