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Israeli Palestinian Conflict Hits Close To Home

Updated: Wednesday, July 16 2014, 02:50 PM CDT

Tonight the escalating violence between Israel and Palestinian militants continues after a the Palestinian Terror group Hamas rejects an Egyptian brokered ceasefire plan.

The fighting is one more indication of how fragile the Middle East is.

For some central Illinois residents the conflict is hitting close to home.

We spoke with two men, one just returned from Israel and the other is living there for a year while going to school.

Both say the destruction fueled by thousands of years of history is sad, and everyone just wishes for peace.

Warner Ferratier grew up in Springfield and taught in Champaign.

Now he's spending a year in Israel to go to school and documenting the journey on his blog.

"It's awful that there are civilians being killed in Gaza. It's awful that there are civilians that are having to run for cover when the sirens go off on the Israel side every hour down south. And so you really see it as a human conflict I would say, than just as a political conflict," said Warner Ferratier.

Gregory Morantz just returned from a trip to Israel last week.

Being from Springfield he didn't anticipate the unrest that could occur at any moment in Israel, but for those who call the region home, it's normal.

"There was a couple instances most notably towards the end of the trip and at the end of the trip a couple sirens went off and you're supposed to go into the bunker and to everyone there it's a pretty normal thing that has happened throughout their lives so it's not unusual to them but to someone's who's not used to it, it was definitely an interesting time," said Gregory Morantz

But for the people on the other side of this conflict in Gaza it's deadly.

Since the fighting started a few weeks ago more than 100 Palestinians have died.

In retribution Hamas has fired over 600 rockets at Israel.

The conflict is nothing new to people living in the region, but being in the middle of it changes your perspective.

"People like simple answers and it's really easy to see the simple answers when you're 5,000 miles away. When you're right in the middle of it you understand that things are way more complicated," said Ferratier.

Part of the reason the people in Israel can defend themselves so well from the rocket attacks is because they have an iron dome missile defense system.

Today a U.S. Senate panel has backed a defense spending bill that would double the amount of money the U.S. contributes to that system.

Israeli Palestinian Conflict Hits Close To Home


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