Pro-Palestinian groups take to Dallas streets calling for ceasefire, cite tensions In Rafah

“We’re going to continue to put pressure. We’re going to continue to raise awareness,” said Abdelwahed.

DALLAS — More than 400 pro-Palestinian protestors showed up Tuesday afternoon to downtown Dallas to raise their voices about the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The group first started their rally at the Civic Garden in Dallas on Commerce and Griffin Streets.

“It’s just a high visibility location and it’s a bit of a strategic location,” said organizer Nura Abdelwahed.

Their placement of the rally was purposeful, in front of the federal courthouse. They are hoping their message for a ceasefire in Gaza is heard not just locally, but nationally.

“We’re going to continue to put pressure. We’re going to continue to raise awareness,” said Abdelwahed.

The event was put on by the Palestinian Youth Movement, along with several other student-led groups. The groups are unified in their demands: they want an immediate cease fire in Gaza, they want an end to the country’s support of Israel, and a return of alleged Palestinian prisoners. 

But the most recent demand is an end to the tension building in the city of Rafah in the Gaza strip where pro-Palestinian groups say the ground-offensive has started.

“Mobilizing the community even on a Tuesday afternoon is the least we can do,” said Mousa Najjar.

One hour into the rally, the crowd moved onto the Dallas streets. Led by a caravan of vehicles, more than 400 protestors took over Commerce Street in Dallas. Police units blocked off roads as protestors walked more than a dozen blocks downtown.

Najjar, who is one of the 18 students arrested just last week for protests on campus, also joined in on Tuesday’s protests. He says the movement is building momentum and wants to continue the rallies. The UTD senior who is studying computer science tells WFAA he’s not sure yet whether he can walk at graduation because of his arrest.

“If it means getting arrested and ruining what it ruined, that’s the least I can do for the cause,” he said.

No counter-protesters showed up to the streets or the Civic Garden on Tuesday. The Palestinian Youth Movement is planning to mobilize again on May 19 and head to Austin.

“We are going to continue to make Palestine unavoidable,” said Abdelwahed.

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