FRESNO, California (KSEE) – More than a hundred people gathered in Fresno for a peaceful protest in support of Palestine on Tuesday. It comes days after Hamas and Israel agreed on a ceasefire, ending 11 days of airstrikes and deadly violence.
Protesters at the intersection of Blackstone and Nees say the agreement is not enough, and the problems in the deeply divided region are far from over.
“My question for Americans is if we believe in freedom for ourselves, why don’t we believe it for everyone else?” asked Fresno resident Uzma Naz.
Waving flags and holdings signs, protesters gathered on the same corner they’ve stood on for weeks with the same message.
“Our message is solidarity with Palestinian people and let’s move this nation to a space of understanding and accepting that we shouldn’t be pouring billions of dollars into a state that terrorizes its people,” said executive director of the Islamic Cultural Center, Reza Nekumanesh.
Uzma Naz is terrified for her friend overseas.
“She has been there through the bombings,” revealed Uzma. “She has four kids, her kids can’t sleep they can’t eat, they are terrified, they could be killed at any minute. I don’t know if I will ever see her again”
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, announcing the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem – and pledging an additional $112 million in aid to the West Bank and Gaza.
But for many who continue to protest, there is little faith the ceasefire will hold.
“I think its just a temporary ceasefire,” said Uzma. “It doesn’t do anything about the apartheid, it doesn’t do anything about the settlements, it doesn’t do anything about the violence, it doesn’t do anything to end to the colonization of Palestine”
Organizers say they will continue to hold these protests and encourage people to educate themselves about the issue.