CHICAGO (WLS) — A group of Chicagoans joined thousands of people at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.
The group told ABC7 it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see how many people are uniting together. All of those protesters were united behind one message: demanding a cease fire in Gaza.
Jameeleh Shilo is a Palestinian-American from Chicago with family living in Gaza right now.
“There’s absolutely no reason for the carnage happening in Gaza. It shouldn’t be happening at all, and ‘ceasefire’ should be the first thing out of every politician’s mouth,” Shilo said.
Shilo joined a group of Chicagoans in traveling to Washington to send a message to Congress and ask the U.S. to stop sending federal funding to Israel.
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“We just live in a completely different political climate. We don’t just believe our politicians anymore because they’ve broken our trust so often,” Shilo said.
According the Hamas-run Health Ministry, more than 9,400 people have died in Gaza since the fighting began last month.
Earlier Saturday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Arab foreign ministers and a Palestinian liberation organization in Jordan. The prime objective of the talks was to ease the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
“Each day, more than 100 trucks are moving to Rafah, up from zero a little over a week ago, but that is not nearly enough,” Blinken said.
Demonstrators in Washington said they’ll keep pressuring elected officials and are optimistic with the diversity of people standing with them.
“What I saw is that there are other people who believe in this cause, and there’s other people who want justice, and they understand peace without justice is simply silence,” Shilo said.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed those growing calls for a ceasefire, saying Hamas must release an estimated 240 hostages first.