Thousands show support for Palestinians during rally at Houston City Hall on Saturday

Shannon Ryan Image
Sunday, October 15, 2023
Over 2,000 gather in downtown Houston in support of Palestine
Several people showed their support for Palestine in downtown Houston in the wake of a deadly war in the Middle East.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Over 2,000 people rallied in Downtown Houston to support Palestine in its war with Israel on Saturday.

The demonstration took place one week after the Middle East war began when the Hamas, a militant group the US government has designated a terrorist organization controlling Gaza, massacred at least 1,300 Israeli civilians.

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However, the conflict itself dates back at least seven decades. In 1947, the United Nations proposed dividing Palestine into two independent states - Jewish Israel and Islamic Palestine.

"When people are occupied, resistance is justified!" protestors chanted.

In the weeklong war, both sides have accused each other of war crimes.

"When people revolt, they usually have to do it in a way that doesn't always fit the normal ethical standards," Sami Daoud, a Houston resident whose father was born in Palestine, said.

Daoud said he does not condone the violence but does understand it.

SEE ALSO: Former Houston resident worries about young sisters believed to be held hostage in Gaza

"With violence comes oppression, you know, and that's what happens," he said.

Many demonstrators, like Fouad Salah of the Palestinian Youth Movement's Houston chapter, have family and friends in Palestine.

Salah said he had spent the week watching their lives crumble through his phone.

"I feel heartbroken for my people," he said, showing ABC13 photographs of loved ones' homes reduced to rubble.

SEE ALSO: Students navigate difficult discussions, tensions amid Israel-Hamas war

At the end of the demonstration, there were fireworks reportedly set off in the crowd by two people who were detained by Houston police, officials said. No one was injured.

One of the two men was released. The second man was charged with a Class C misdemeanor of "detonating fireworks in city limits.

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