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Peace in the Plaza: Multi-Faith Rally for End to Middle East Violence

Updated: 07/29/2014 11:20 PM
Created: 07/29/2014 10:56 PM KAALtv.com
By: Laura Lee

(ABC 6 News) -- Israel unleashed its heaviest air and artillery assault in the past three weeks on Gaza.
 
Here at home -- a rally for peace.

In a joint effort by the Inner Faith Community and the Southeast Minnesota Alliance of Peace Makers, a vigil was held on Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester.

Nearly a hundred people representing at least a dozen different faith communities came out wearing a different label Tuesday.

"I think its just really important to take humanity as a bigger factor than what politics people are representing," says Pastor Katy Lee from Christ United Methodist Church.
  
Pastor Lee and many others wore the names of children killed in Gaza as the violence continues to erupt overseas.

"The whole world is watching what's happening in Gaza right now," says Sister Ann Redig with the Sisters of Saint Francis.
 
"It's not okay to bomb children in heavily populated civilian centers, that should be a no-brainer no matter what faith you come from," says Bassem Fadlia.

Fadlia is the vice president of Rochester's Muslim Community Circle, he says the United States needs to act to put an end to the violence. 

"The real way to achieve long term peace is to return to genuine peace negotiations," he adds.  

Since the conflict began 22 days ago, more than one thousand people have been killed, many of them innocent civilians.

Now a call for peace thousands of miles away. 

"It helps to work together, events like this, they are inner-faith events in order for us to be pulling in the same direction," says Lee.

Including this Rochester man, a doctor, who will be a part of team that will be heading to Palestine to help aid those injured.
    
I think its our moral obligation, " says Dr. Ahmed Nassr, "almost all of the hospitals in Gaza have been bombed, we have been fortunate in the past, Israeli's Government has seen the humanitarian side of this and let us in and we really hope they'll be supportive of our missions."

A mission that starts with a group of concerned citizens from different backgrounds coming together for a common goal.

ABC 6 News also spoke with Rabbi David Greene, who says his family is right in the middle of it all.  You can watch that interview here.