Rosalee Yelen of South Huntington holding a ceasefire poster at Long Island...

Rosalee Yelen of South Huntington holding a ceasefire poster at Long Island rally in support of people in Palestine in Eisenhower Park Saturday. Credit: Howard Simmons

Chanting “free, free, free Palestine,” an estimated 300 people gathered in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow Saturday, calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and the withdrawal of the Israeli military from the region.

The rally was organized by social justice groups that came together under the umbrella of the PALI Coalition seeking to draw attention to the plight of Palestinians after Israel’s invasion last October in response to a terror attack on its border.

“We are here today because we want to continue the work we've been doing on Long Island to organize and raise awareness about the genocide that's been ongoing for six months now, and we want to make it clear that we do not support our tax dollars or our politicians continuing to fund the genocide in Gaza,” organizer Nora Farouk, 30, said.

Palestinian supporters turned out at about 3 p.m. in the park, chanting and holding placards calling for the end of violence in Gaza.

Rosalie Yelen, 77, held a sign that read, “Another Jew for a Ceasefire.”

“I'm a human being. I'm a former social worker. I'm a mother. I'm a grandmother and I can't stand by and watch this slaughter, this carnage, this terrorism,” she said.

Israelis and Palestinians have been at war since the terrorist group Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, attacked Israeli settlements and a music festival on Oct. 7, kidnapping about 250 people and killing roughly 1,200 others.

This prompted a major military offensive by Israel against Hamas on the territory of 2.3 million people.

The Palestinian death toll from the war is at least 34,049, with 76,901 wounded, the Gaza Health Ministry said, adding that the bodies of 37 people killed by Israeli strikes were taken to hospitals over the past 24 hours. The Hamas-run health authorities do not differentiate between combatants and civilians in their count but say at least two-thirds have been children and women.

Israel blames Hamas for civilian casualties, saying it embeds in the population.

Just before the Nassau County rally kicked off, Congress passed a multibillion aid package for war-torn countries worldwide, including $9 billion for humanitarian support and assistance for Gaza.

Ali Mirza, 50, who owns a business in Franklin Square, said he believes the money will go to helping Israel. He said he believes that domestically the United States doesn’t spend enough on schools and infrastructure upgrades, but always has money to fund wars.

“When we asked for money for health care for all or for education, or to build new infrastructure, they say, ‘Oh, where will the money come from?’ But when it comes to war, the money comes flowing in,” he said.

With The Associated Press

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