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Jewish and Palestinian Americans frightened as war in Israel continues, death toll rises

War in Israel hits close to home for many Minnesotans
War in Israel hits close to home for many Minnesotans 02:39

MINNEAPOLIS — For Jewish families and Palestinian Americans, there is horror about what is happening right now in Israel and Gaza. They are looking at social media and trying to understand what is happening to people they know and love

"The kind of brutality to civilians taken captive, it's just really unbelievable," Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman of Temple Israel said.

Zimmerman says almost everyone who is Jewish in the Twin Cities has someone in Israel they know or are related to — that includes her and her husband, prominent State Rep. Frank Hornstein.

LIVE UPDATES: Israel and Hamas at war after Palestinian militants launch deadly attacks from Gaza

"Everybody in our family are safe and have been moved out of their homes," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman says Jews in the Twin Cities are frightened.

"Let's be honest about this, the fear of antisemitism at home, and what this means for all of us, as a Jewish community," Zimmerman said.

Steve Hunegs, the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, has been lobbying all three congressional delegations.

"The most important thing we can do there is advocate for the continued strong, powerful relationship between the United States and Israel," Hunegs said. "It's going to be a long war, that is what everyone warns."

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Palestinian Americans are fearful too.

"It's a terrifying time," Tehar Herzallah said.

Herzallah is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota and a field director for American Muslims for Palestine.

"I have family in Gaza. They are under constant aerial bombardment. We have been trying to reach them over the last 48 hours with little success," Herzallah said.

Tuesday night, there will be a gathering of solidarity at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park.

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