Demonstrators rally in Village Green Park in Great Neck on Sunday...

Demonstrators rally in Village Green Park in Great Neck on Sunday evening to show support for Israel in its war with Hamas militants. Credit: Howard Simmons

Hundreds gathered in Great Neck on Sunday evening in a display of support for Israel, more than a week after Hamas militants attacked multiple locations in Israel, resulting in a war with a rising death toll in the Middle East.

"After what happened to our people in Israel a week ago, this is really to show that U.S. will fight this with Israel side by side," said Nassau County Legis. Mazi Melesa Pilip (R-Great Neck), who still has family in Israel.

Through songs, prayers and speeches, people came together to express their support for Israel, while others waved Israeli flags in Village Green Park in Great Neck. The fire department at 7 p.m. blew its horn in honor of the lives lost in the Oct. 7 attack and the war.

Israel-Hamas war

On Oct. 7, 2023, the Hamas militant group launched an attack on Israel, which resulted in thousands of deaths and casualties. In response, Israel declared war and began its own assault on Hamas. Here's the latest on the war:

The latest: Israeli airstrike in central Gaza kills one of Hamas' top militant commanders

On Long Island, the war has prompted both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine rallies, while many have sought to provide aid to Israel, including a Lloyd Harbor teen who started a fundraiser to help families of fallen Israeli cops.

How did we get here? Here are some answers to questions about the Mideast conflict.

Click here for complete coverage of the war.

Elana Aminoff, 43, of Great Neck, showed her support for Israel by selling signs that said "We stand with Israel" at the rally. All proceeds, she said, will go toward charities for victims of the war.

Demonstrators rally in Village Green Park in Great Neck on Sunday...

Demonstrators rally in Village Green Park in Great Neck on Sunday evening to show support for Israel. Credit: Howard Simmons

"We feel like we need to do something, and this was something I can do," Aminoff said.

Aminoff also has family members in Israel and said it was "unbelievable" to hear about the initial attack.

"It's hard to think about now. It's hard to watch the news. It's hard to hear everything," she said.

This war brings back memories for Saddle Rock Mayor Dan Levy, who served in the Israeli army against Egyptian and Syrian forces in the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

"We were caught by surprise then, but it was nothing like today," he said at the rally.

Levy said his 90-year-old mother is still living in Israel and must seek shelter.

"It's not easy," he said. "She lives in the central part of Israel. The missiles are coming and she hears them explode. She is fearful and I'm fearful for her."

Thomas Major, 74, of Great Neck said he also had many family members in the Israeli army. 

"I have five family members that are in the Israeli army," he said. "Even if I didn't have relatives, the brutality of what happened there I think any country needs support to show that it can't happen again."

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