Albuquerque activists will rally Saturday to demand Gaza ceasefire

Albuquerque activists will rally Saturday to demand Gaza ceasefire

As violence intensifies in the Middle East, protestors in Albuquerque are increasing the pressure on lawmakers to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As violence intensifies in the Middle East, protestors in Albuquerque are increasing the pressure on lawmakers to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Three weeks into the war, more than 7,000 Palestinians have been killed with 3,000 still missing. In addition to the 1,400 Israelis who have been killed.

“The action is to demand a ceasefire now, immediately. Some of the lawmakers I mean I am so disappointed in our president that is not supporting an immediate ceasefire,” said Iris Keltz with Jewish Voice for Peace Albuquerque.

On the ground here in New Mexico protestors continue to organize for peace. Keltz has been at the forefront of those events.

“Up until 1967 Gaza was ruled by Egypt, since then it has been ruled by Israel, and the people of Gaza since 1967 have been under a military occupation,” she said.

On Monday they held a non-violent protest at Robinson Park and marched to Sen. Ben Ray Lujan and Sen. Martin Heinrich’s office.

“What was really beautiful because I’ve been working to stop this tragedy since 1967 but I was so heartened to see so many young Jewish people there,” she said.

The week before that they were on campus at UNM with flags and signs in hand.

“I haven’t felt silenced when I was in front of UNM there were Palestinian flags there, in some places that is forbidden even to have a flag. The voices of people that are concerned with the humanitarian tragedy of what is happening to Palestinians, that includes Jewish people, and Palestinian community here, and Christians, and peace activists, our voices have not been silenced,” said Keltz.

There will be another solidarity march and rally on Saturday at Tiguex Park at 3 p.m.

Keltz says they will continue to organize until lawmakers hear them.

“There is no military solution, and I am horrified, horrified, and disappointed that our lawmakers can’t stand behind a ceasefire. That is like the least they can do is a ceasefire, and humanitarian aid is the least,” said Keltz.

New Mexico Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez issued a statement Friday calling for a “pause” to deliver humanitarian aid:

“I call for a humanitarian pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas. A pause would allow desperately needed aid to reach Palestinian civilians in Gaza, provide time to negotiate the release of hostages who Hamas kidnapped, and help civilians reach safety.

As the U.S. supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’s terrorist attacks, Israel must protect against the innocent loss of life. Hamas and its allies must also stop their attacks on Israelis. Civilians should not pay the price for Hamas’s terror.”

Rep. Melanie Stansbury also issued a statement Friday:

“I join millions across the world, including dozens of our international allies, aid organizations, and the Administration in calling for a humanitarian pause in Gaza to secure the safety and dignity of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. In the aftermath of October 7th, the world has watched in horror and grief at the brutal and barbaric attack by Hamas terrorists on Israeli soil and grieved for the over 1,400 Israeli lives and communities shattered by this attack. The right to human safety and dignity is a basic human right, and the right of Israel as a nation to secure its safety and defend against violent attacks and foreign enemies is essential. The U.S. and the international community stands with Israel and the Israeli people in their right to do so.

Since the attack, millions of innocent Palestinian lives have been caught in the crossfire, as children and civilians have lost their lives and millions of innocent families have been desperately displaced without food, water, fuel and medicine. While the U.S. and other allies and organizations have been working around the clock to bring aid and secure the safety of innocent families, it is clear that a humanitarian pause is needed to prevent further suffering and loss of life. That is why the international community is calling for a humanitarian pause and stands with the Palestinian families grieving and suffering.

As we continue to work towards a lasting peace in the region, we must recognize the inherent rights and dignity of Israeli and Palestinian lives. Just as we support our allies in their inherent rights, we cannot turn a blind eye to extremism that undermines peace, security, and democracy, either through violence or through policy. I stand resolute in my support for a two state solution and for a lasting peace across the region.”