SF rallies call for peace, resolution to be reached in Israel-Hamas War

Tara Campbell Image
Saturday, October 14, 2023
Israel-Hamas War: San Francisco rallies call for peace
Rallies held in San Francisco on Friday called for peace and a resolution to be reached in the Israel-Hamas War.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Tensions are increasing in the Middle East as major cities are taking part in a day of protest in the U.S.

Amid a call from Hamas to all supporters to hold a global "Day of Rage," the Department of Homeland Security says there is no "specific or credible" threat to the U.S. homeland. However, the Capitol and U.S. cities are preparing out of an abundance of caution.

San Francisco police say they are on high alert. California's Homeland Security Advisor says they've been in touch with faith leaders and communities across the state.

RELATED: IDF inside Gaza looking for hostages amid evacuation order

Meanwhile, a rally at San Francisco's Civic Center called for the safe return of Israelis captured by Hamas, with praying, singing, and speakers.

Among the hundreds gathered, ABC7 News reporter Tara Campbell was told that many are staying away out of fear of an attack.

"We need to bring them home safely. The negotiations have to start. Somebody has to do something to bring them home," said Neri Life-Choma, with UnXeptable- and one of the rally organizers. "Some of the families don't even know if their loved ones are hostages or killed, they just have no word."

"It's so hard to be away from home on these horrible days we feel helpless," added Tzippi Zach, of Palo Alto. "We want to hug our friends and family and it's impossible."

"I didn't think there was anything more important than to be here today to stand with the hostages from this absolutely barbaric act of terrorism in Southern Israel. Our hearts are just breaking," said Carmel resident, Charlotte Salomon.

Police presence was strong outside city hall with mounting concern over possible retaliation.

RELATED: Will US efforts to deescalate the Israel-Hamas conflict be effective?

"We are encouraging people to be cautious and add security measures, but we cannot cower in fear we need more voices from our community and allies today more than ever," said Ty Gregory, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

"There are people who didn't come purely out of fear and they would have come otherwise, people with kids," said San Rafael resident Asaf Ophir. "They just didn't come."

Meanwhile, outside the Israeli Consulate a group gathered in support of the Palestinian people.

"They are not having humanity from Israel and now is time to stand up and say enough. I am here to support them and say enough is enough - it's time to do something," said San Francisco resident Sergio Sosa.

"There has to be peace over there there has to be resolution over there, but we can't support the continued killing of people," added Maria Christina-Gutierrez.

Event organizers at both protests said there are plans for more to come but as for when and where? They say they're taking it day by day.

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