Sympathies divided, Israel’s Arab minority is caught in the middle of Gaza war

you VOTED for hamas shit as YOUR gov’t. get rid of #smashhamasplo

By Aron Heller

TIRA, Israel — Facing the threat of rocket fire along with the rest of Israel, residents in this central Israeli Arab town have found themselves caught in the middle between Jewish neighbours and their fellow Palestinians who are dying in growing numbers in the Gaza Strip.

The people of Tira, a town of some 25,000 people known for their warm relations with nearby Jewish communities, have Jewish friends, speak Hebrew fluently and are largely integrated into Israeli society. But with relatives in Gaza and the West Bank, they also empathize with the Palestinians.

That internal strain becomes especially hard during times of violence, and tensions have risen since the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants began on July 8.

“The Jews look at us like Arabs and the Arabs look at us like Jews,” said Ahmad Nasser, 21. “We are in the middle.”


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