PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Hundreds of Rhode Islanders are calling on the state’s congressional delegation to take action to end military aid and arms sales to Israeli Apartheid.
Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire Thursday, ending an 11-day war that left more than 250 dead, the vast majority Palestinians, and brought widespread devastation to the already impoverished Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The demonstrators gathered at Burnside Park Friday to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Rasha Abousalem, the daughter of Palestinian refugees and an organizer with Rhode Island for Palestine, said they’re urging the state’s congressional delegation to co-sponsor a joint resolution denouncing the sale of $735 million in bombs to the Israeli military.
She said now is the time to put “an end to oppression, an end to injustice and an end to Israeli Apartheid.”
“The time has come for our voices to be heard loud and clear, that Palestine will be free,” Abousalem said. “We are watching what our politicians do, and I can promise you that you will be remembered for being on the wrong side of history if this arms sales goes through.”
State Rep. David Morales said since Sen. Jack Reed and Rep. David Cicilline hold key positions in committees that oversee the nation’s military budget, he said they should use their positions to express support for ending the Israeli Apartheid.
“The people of Rhode Island have made ourselves clear, we do not want our government supporting apartheid,” Morales said.
In response to the rally, Reed’s spokesperson said he “actively supported efforts to reach a ceasefire and has long supported a two-state solution.”
His spokesperson did not specify whether Reed would consider a resolution denouncing the apartheid.