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Emotions run high as suburban Chicago commission weighs resolution for Israel-Hamas cease-fire

Passionate debate in Evanston over resolution for Israel-Hamas cease-fire
Passionate debate in Evanston over resolution for Israel-Hamas cease-fire 02:01

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) -- The Israel-Hamas War took center stage in Evanston Thursday night, as a city commission there considered a resolution calling for a cease-fire.

As CBS 2's Marybel González reported, people lined up to let city leaders know where they stand on the emotional issue.

Emotions ran high Thursday night at the meeting of the Evanston Equity and Empowerment Commission. Up for discussion was a measure titled, "Resolution Affirming the City's Support for a Ceasefire and the Return of Israeli and Palestinian Hostages."

"If we are able to look away from the people in Gaza, what injustices are we willing to look away from in Evanston?" a woman said.

But another woman: "With this extremely one-sided document that has a litany of the suffering of the Palestinians, and no discussion of the suffering of the Israeli people."

The commission said the meeting was supposed to be an opportunity to discuss the draft and any amendments. But even before it started, a lawyer representing the City of Evanston informed the commission that it did not have any authority to pass the on resolution to the City Council.

But the 130 people who signed up for comment were still allowed to speak on the resolution.

"You're setting up tensions," one attendee said. "You're setting up potential hatred and violence."

"Acknowledging the suffering of the Palestinian people, and outlining documented violations of international law – as is done in this resolution – leads towards truth," another said.

This was not the first time the commission, which is normally tasked with ensuring that its residents receive equal treatment, has taken a position on foreign policy issues. The commission previously called for an end to the war in Iraq and other wars.

"To try to make sure that the people let their cities and towns know what they want - and they let their representatives to know what they want - so we can get action at the federal level," said Equity and Empowerment Commissioner Karla Thomas.

The commissioners said they will take into account the feedback from the public, and meet with city lawyers to discuss what they can do next.

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