Israeli, Palestinian share views on Gaza violence

Steven Greenberg (left) grew up in Fort Wayne and moved to Israel. Amar Masri (right) grew up in the West Bank and moved to Fort Wayne.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One man grew up in the West Bank and later moved to Fort Wayne. The other grew up in Fort Wayne and later moved to Israel. Both shared personal stories of violence toward their family or friends Friday. But each had a different solution to make it stop.

Steven Greenberg moved to Israel from Fort Wayne in 1990.  As a Zionist, he views the Jewish state as his home.  Greenberg and his kids are currently visiting his parents in Fort Wayne.  His wife plans to join them later, but is currently in their neighborhood just north of Tel Aviv in Israel.

While talking with NewsChannel 15 Friday morning, a siren went off on his phone.  It was an app that alerts him to live Hamas rocket fire. The siren signals a one-minute warning to get to a nearby shelter.

“It’s not like, you know, a rocket is going to hit your head. But you do know you have a minute to get your butt into a shelter before it does,” Greenburg said.  “I’m not so worried about my wife. I’m not so worried about my family because they all are spending most of their time in the area of the safe zone.

He says the number of Palestinian civilians being killed is horrible, but it’s only happening because Hamas is using them as human shields against Israeli rockets.

“It’s literally standing behind a child and saying ‘What are you going to do shoot me?’ and then shooting at you,” Greenburg said.  “The solution has to involve the Hamas not being a threat anymore — not being able to send rockets indiscriminately into my backyard or into my schools or my daughter’s day camps.”

Amar Masri said he was born in the state of Palestine, or what is known as the West Bank. He even showed NewsChannel 15 his father’s rare passport for the state of Palestine, issued in the 1930’s.

When he was nine-years-old, his family moved to Jordan.  Masri later settled in Fort Wayne.

He thinks the Israelis are looking to take more land.  He doesn’t believe they are seeking to destroy Hamas rockets, but instead thinks they are conducting genocide on the Palestinians.

“[Israel] uses that so they can invade Gaza, and so they can kill more Palestinians.  That’s their nature, the way I look at it of the Israeli government,” Masri said.  “The more Palestinians they kill, the happier they are.”

Masri wants Israel to be held accountable for killing innocent Palestinian children. He thinks the solution is for the world to recognize Palestine as a nation.  He says that would give Palestinians the freedoms they are fighting for right now.

“I don’t know a lot about Hamas. But somebody who fights for his freedom, it doesn’t matter who they belong to. Freedom is freedom and it’s worth fighting for,” he said.  “That’s how we build our great nation (the United States) I assume.”

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