CLEVELAND — As tensions continue in the West Bank, the situation is hitting close to home for many Ohioans.
Ari Jaffe, an Ohio attorney, visited Israel where his kids live, less than a month ago.
“It was peaceful, it was calm. It was like the United States slowly emerging from the pandemic.”
Since then, rockets have been fired into Israel and Gaza, leaving the father to worry for his family’s safety.
“My son has seen shrapnel on his building, brand new apartment building across the street from a major medical center, my daughter has made sure that her safe room in her building is stocked with water and food and doors work and properly closed,” Jaffe said.
For Palestinian-American Basma Garadah, the conflict is also painful.
“We talk to our grandpa who lives here in the United States, in D.C. My dad’s dad and every single time we call him it’s just like a matter of minutes before he starts crying because that’s his home country.”
Many of her family members still live in the region so she worries about what could happen as the violence continues.
“So far, none of our family members have been bombed, but that could change any minute, the buildings next to them have been bombed and it’s like the debris that’s falling on them that is shaking the areas around them.”
While Garadah and Jaffe have disagreements on the issue as a whole, both hope for the safety of their families and their people.
“These are my Palestinian people. I’m Palestinian American and I take pride in being American and I take pride in being a Palestinian and I’m seeing my people being hurt,” Garadah said. “I’d like to see my family safe first and foremost, I’d like to see all the people of Israel safe and secure and be able to raise their families in secure environments. I’d like to see governments cooperate and communicate,” Jaffe said.