The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Students mourn Palestinian deaths

In response to the conflict between Hamas and Israel, dozens of Eastern students gathered for a vigil at the Mellin Steps to mourn the people in the Gaza Strip killed.

Hassan Mavi, a kinesiology sport and recreation professor, attended the vigil, he said. 

“We feel for those individuals, and it’s just like an unjust war going on,” Mavi said.

On Oct. 7, Hamas launched thousands of rockets into Israeli territory. That attack was followed by an invasion of armed Hamas militants crossing into Israel. The assaults killed 1,400 people in Israel and militants seized more than 240 hostages.

Later that day, Israeli jet fighters launch retaliatory strikes in Gaza and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his country, “Israel is at war.”

The Israeli air strikes have continued since Oct. 7. Gaza health authorities said the death toll from the strikes had exceeded 10,000. On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Gaza is becoming a “graveyard for children.”

Israel said 31 soldiers had been killed since it began expanded ground operations in Gaza on Oct. 27.

Mavi said that he feels for those in Gaza because they are being bombed every day, and they have also gone without water and food for days at a time.

“You are not hearing the voices of the Palestinians,” Mavi said. “They have no voice. They have no identity. Nobody hears them. People hear the Israelis because they are stronger economically. I mean you cannot hear the voice of Palestinians. They are suffocating, and they are dying.”

Monica Brown, a senior creative writing major, also attended the vigil because she said she wanted to take action and make a difference. She thought the vigil brought the community together.

Brown said that by people coming out it allows them to have their voice heard and show that they support the cause.

In general, Brown said she felt angry, upset and sad about the conflict.

“[I’m] even more angry about the fact that my own government supports this,” Brown said. “[I’m] not really that surprised, but I am angry about it.”

This week, the Reuters news agency reported that U.S. officials are publicly and privately stressing the need to protect human lives in Gaza, including seeking a stop in the fighting to get food in and residents to relocate.

Malak Mahlaoui, a senior biological sciences major, also attended the vigil.

Mahlaoui said she came to use her privilege the right way, to be the voice for those who do not have one.

Mahlaoui said she thinks that people should do their own research on the matter if they want to be informed, and not just read the headlines on articles.

“There’s literally full-on proof of what people are going through, what they go through on a day-to-day life, but people choose to stay silent,” Mahlaoui said. “But staying silent only benefits the oppressor, not the oppressed.”

Other people at the vigil held candles and wrote with chalk on the Mellin Steps to stop the war.


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].


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About the Contributors
Cam'ron Hardy
Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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