COLLEGE PARK -- A rally at the University of Maryland Wednesday called for a permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas War.
The rally was organized by the UMD chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, with the help of more than a dozen student organizations.
This comes days after UMD President Darryl Pines announced the university is launching a Task Force on antisemitism and Islamophobia, to which some students say more action is needed.
Observing the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, established by the U.N. in the 1970s, students took the stage at the Palestine-filled Hornbake Plaza and demanded an end to the war.
Right now, there's a short-term truce as both Hamas and Israel release hostages and prisoners.
One of SJP's members, who wished to remain anonymous, talked about the pain he's had since the war started.
"It's so hard to go from seeing [videos and pictures of the war] to then go to your 10 a.m. class, focus on doing your homework," the student said. "When you sit at home and on your phone, it feels like you can do nothing."
The Palestinian death toll in the war is at least 11,000. The U.N. has described it as a "graveyard for children."
A lot of the rally's crowd was filled with allies, like Mubarak Adeshina, a UMD junior from Baltimore County.
"It's really hard to see one of your friends just sad about what's going on," Adeshina said "One of the people that talked today said that she can't even call her friend to see if her friend's even alive or not. That's horrific."
While Pines announced the Task Force, the members have yet to be revealed.
Students told WJZ that the Task Force is a good idea, but also that the university should do more to protect Muslim and Jewish students.
The SJP member we talked with said he hopes solidarity, like what he saw at the rally, continues.
"So many different organizations coming out, so many different groups of people from all different types of backgrounds -- seeing that solidarity is really unifying and uplifting," he said.
UMD has also bolstered campus safety measures with UMD Police, like reestablishing ID checks during late hours and increasing patrols on campus.
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