Gaza conflict prompts rallies on both sides in Chicago - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

PHOTOS: Israel, Hamas conflict prompts rallies on both sides in Chicago

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A solidarity rally took place in the downtown area to support Israel Tuesday afternoon, after people took to the streets to support the Palestinians Monday night.

As rocket fire continues in the Middle East, officials said a cease fire could come down soon. Israel's prime minister said his country would be a "willing partner" in a deal to stop the violence.

SEE: Obama sends Clinton to Mideast amid Gaza crisis, rocket fire continues

Hundreds gathered for the Stand with Israel solidarity rally at the Thompson Center to pray Tuesday afternoon. Just across the street, a number of Palestinian supporters gathered as well. CPD deployed its equestrian unit to watch over the event.

A Stand with Us group leader said the violence in the Middle East that has been going on in Gaza for 12 years, and the group said they want to make it clear Israel is not the aggressor - but are responding to what's been happening all these years.

Supporters said they prayed for Israel because they feel that their homeland country has a right to defend itself.

They acknowledge that there are victims on the other side of the border, along the Gaza Strip, that are being impacted by this. They said they realize some of these victims are children and women, and will be praying for them as well.

"If the Palestinians put down their arms, there will be no more war," One supporter said. "If Israel puts down its arms, there will be no more Israel."

"[The] Hamas view of the future is the destruction of Israel," Jewish Federation's Aaron Cohen said. "To look at the situation through any other lens is to miss the most important point about it."

So while this bombing campaign continues in the seven-day offensive, there's been a sharp spike in civilian casualties and year seeing reaction to that in Chicago.

SEE: Hundreds of supporters march and rally for Gaza in Chicago

Protesters from Chicago and Milwaukee in hit downtown streets during rush hour Monday evening to address the violent unrest in the Middle East.

Hundreds of Palestinian supporters marched through the Loop to express anger over what they claim are unprovoked attacks by Israel on Gaza.

"We don't know what to do with all the killing happening in Palestine, especially in Gaza," Mahmoud Saed said. "They're killing kids, they're killing women, [and] they're killing old people."

But there were also other points of view in Chicago Monday night.

"I think if you drill down, the Israeli version of what peace looks like is a secure Israel living side by side with its neighbors," Cohen said. "If you really drill down on the other side, what Hamas wants is the conquest and the destruction of Israel."

The Stand with Israel solidarity rally will include a number of elected officials: The Israeli Consul General Roey Gilad, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Comptroller Dan Rutherford as well as several state senators.

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