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FORT MYERS | March for Palestine down First Street for visibility, voices

Two days after SWFL rabbi returned to share experiences in Israel
Posted at 10:16 PM, Oct 29, 2023

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Sunday in downtown Fort Myers, just outside of the public library on First Street, dozens gathered for their voices and their visibility, calling for a Free Palestine.

Now at three weeks since the first rockets started war in the Middle East, we've seen and heard plenty of reaction, even in Southwest Florida, to the killings, the fear and the uncertainty.

"I've grown up and I've been exposed to what's happening," said Ayah Abuijeq, part of the gathering on Sunday. "It's saddening and sickening that no one is speaking up for what's happening. It's been instilled in me to show pride in who I am."

Hannah Elgendy was standing next to Abuijeq.

"It's not a religious war, as Ayah said," Elgendy said. "It's about the Palestinian humanity. They bombed the churches. They bombed hospitals. They bombed the schools, bombed the mosques. It's not about religion. It's about the Palestinian humanity."

As people marched west on First Street on Sunday, back on Friday, FOX 4 also heard from Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz of Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida.

"To me, this is not your traditional war or conflict," said Minkowicz. "I will see this from the facts that I will present here. This is a war between evil and good... period."

Minkowicz led a 40-minute news conference, where he detailed what he and about 30 other rabbis witnessed in Israel over their four-day trip last week. He talked, in graphic terms about death.

The sight. The scent of those who perished from war.

"These are all people who dedicated their life and we were there for four days," said Minkowicz. "As we were leaving, all of the rabbis said, 'I think we're all going to have to get trauma therapy for what we've seen. And we were only there for four days."