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Local Jewish community gathers in show of support for Israel; pro-Palestine protesters hold rally in Hollywood – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – South Floridians were out this weekend in support for both Israel and Palestine at various events.

With a heavy police presence on the outside, people of Jewish faith packed the inside of the Dave & Mary Alper Jewish Community Center in Southwest Miami-Dade on Sunday, uniting for Israel.

“We saw the darkest of mankind, the highest level of evil. That was a shock to all of us,” said a speaker at the event.

Congregants prayed for peace for a country in crisis and at war.

“This is very hard, because we re a part of this,” said attendee Deborah Soriano. “We have friends, we have families who are living in Israel, under attack, suffering, and this is a very sensitive moment for all of us.”

Speakers at the gathering included a state lawmaker, a Holocaust survivor and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, who vowed to enforce the law for anyone who engages in hate crimes toward the local Jewish community.

“Anybody out there who thinks that they can hurt, scare, frighten, threaten someone because of their religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, understand you’re going to be held accountable,” said Fernandez Rundle.

Hours earlier, a peaceful pro-palestine protest was held in Hollywood.

Demonstrators stood in solidarity for the innocent lives lost.

“This is just a mass slaughter from air, land and sea that’s taking place in Gaza,” said a protester.

In Miami-Dade County, Jewish Community Services of South Florida is offering free mental health services. For more information, dial 211.

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