by: Tenikka Smith Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
The violence continues in the Middle East. People in Charlotte support Israel and Gaza, and they are watching the developments closely.
Both Israel and Hamas have carried out more than 1,000 airstrikes against each other. Three Israeli deaths have been reported and more than 90 Palestinians have been killed, including children.
On Monday, UNC Charlotte students gathered on campus with signs and holding a flag in support of the people in Gaza.
"We really want to stand for them and speak out against the violence that is occurring,” said Zena Koudsi, one of the organizers.
But Sue Worrel, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, said that Israel's show of force is in response to attacks from Hamas more than a week ago.
"Bottom line is, Israel has a right to defend herself," Worrel said.
But Koudsi believes Israel has stepped out of bounds and is hurting innocent people in Gaza.
"This is unacceptable. This is an aggression, not a defense strategy from the Israelis,” Koudsi said.
Top leaders met in Egypt Monday to discuss ways to de-escalate the situation, including a possible ceasefire.
"You cannot talk about ceasefire under bombs and you cannot talk about ceasefires when there are killings of children and families," Koudsi said.
Worrel said she would like to see a ceasefire soon.
"Peace is what's in everybody’s best interest. It's what we pray for, and civilians on both sides are suffering and it's very sad and unfortunate,” she said.