Palestinians and Israelis living in Oklahoma are sharing what it is like to watch the deadly fighting back home.
The news never sleeps and neither does Imam Imad Enchassi of Oklahoma City’s Islamic Society.
“We become news junkies, so to speak,” said said Imam Imad Enchassi. “We wake up with the news; we sleep with the news.”
Enchassi grew up as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon.
“Heartbreaking to see the hospitals being bombed, mosques being bombed,” said Enchassi. “It’s really hard to see those images.”
Enchassi just returned from an emotional visit to his homeland.
“I was reading about the Trail of Tears, and this is what the Palestinians are going through,” Enchassi added.
Israeli Dr. Eli Reshef is a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist in Oklahoma City.
Dr. Reshef said he is impressed with Israel’s missile defense system, called the Iron Dome.
“There is some comfort in some ways in Iron Dome,” explained Reshef. “It’s a big game changer, yet the uncertainty and the constant barrage of missiles.”
Reshef served in the Israeli military, and many of his family members still live in Israel.
“My sister’s daughter lives about 15 seconds from the missiles coming from Gaza,” Reshef told News 9. “The things you don’t know is what goes through their mind, how much their routine is interrupted, how close they are to things that happen,” he said.
Both men agree the loss of civilian life is unacceptable, like the four young Palestinian boys killed by an Israeli rocket attack.
“The killing of innocent people is inexcusable,” said Enchassi. “It doesn’t matter who perpetrated.”
Dr. Reshef said he feels for the people in Gaza.
“Civilians get hurt, and the tragedy is the Gazans have no way out,” Dr. Reshef said.
On Friday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is holding a rally outside the state Capitol at 4:30 p.m. to call for an immediate ceasefire.
CAIR is calling the rally Oklahomans for Peace.
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