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KC pro-Palestinian rally attracts nearly 300 people, turns to march

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Posted at 8:15 PM, May 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-15 22:25:27-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Roughly 300 people gathered near the Country Club Plaza Saturday evening for a pro-Palestinian rally that turned into a march.

The rally started at 5 p.m. at Mill Creek Park, but as crowds grew, the group moved around the edge of the Plaza.

Ahmad Haha attended the protest. He and his family are from Palestine.

"My family had to leave the homeland so we don't have to be killed by the Zionists. So we're just here to let our voices be heard and hopefully we can do a change," he said.

Organizers said they planned the rally in support of Palestinian human rights and condemning violence against Palestinians happening currently in and around Gaza.

"Our holy city is being occupied by Zionists. They're trying to take over, kicking out the families of their homes by bombing their houses," Haha said. "Killing children, innocent children who don't have mothers and fathers. They are orphaned and now they are left dead under rubbles."

The rally's purpose was to call on lawmakers to place conditions on military aid that is given to Israel, hold Israel accountable for actions and recognize Palestinian sovereignty.

"It's not about religion, race or color. It's more about humanity," Haha said.

Violence between Israel and Palestine has escalated over the past week with constant rockets being fired by both groups, leaving many people dead - including children.

At one point during the rally, one person climbed a bridge on the Plaza to tear down an Israeli flag.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City issued a statement about the act.

"Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City strongly condemns the tearing down of the Israeli flag at Brush Creek today. As a Kansas City community, we should strive toward respectful dialogue, bridge building and peaceful coexistence. We pray for peace, with the hope for a return to calm in the days ahead," the statement read.

41 Action News has reached out to several members of the local Jewish community for comment but has yet to hear back. This story will be updated when statements are available.