Hundreds gather in Baton Rouge to protest Israeli war crimes in Gaza

(Source: Jessica E.)
(Source: Jessica E.)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Hundreds of people gathered in Baton Rouge on Tuesday afternoon to protest Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

This is just one group of protesters who gathered worldwide for the cause. The protest comes on a day when tensions and violence are high in the Israeli-Gaza conflict.

More than 200 people were standing outside of the Baton Rouge Federal Courthouse with signs, megaphones, flags and determination to be heard.

Those that gathered in Baton Rouge are from Louisiana, and organizers say they just want to be heard. Groups sounded off nationally and worldwide on Tuesday.

"It's a human cause," said one protester in Baton Rouge. They say they are rallying for the freeing of Palestine, with signs that read "Stop Killing, Stop Bombing," and "Stop the Israeli genocide."

The tensions in the Israeli-Gaza conflict have been growing in the last month. Three Israeli teens were kidnapped in the West Bank on June 12 and killed. Israeli officials arrested more than 300 Palestinians, many of whom were linked to Hamas. The bodies were found on June 30, and rockets began flying into Israel from Gaza that night, and Israelis fired back.

In an apparent retaliation, a Palestinian teen was kidnapped and burned to death on July 2. Three Israelis have been arrested and charged with the killing.

A short-lived cease-fire supported by Egypt fell apart on Tuesday between Israel and Hamas, with Hamas rejecting the proposal. The first Israeli death due to the fighting was reported on Tuesday; Gaza Health Ministry officials say almost 200 have died in the attacks, and more than 1,400 civilians have been injured.

Secretary of State John Kerry had postponed a visit to the region, but could make the previously scheduled trek there as soon as Wednesday.

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