Local News

Triangle man, woman hope for peace after unrest in the West Bank

Posted October 13, 2015

— As protesters continued to clash in the West Bank Tuesday, two young people from the Triangle say after weeks of unrest, the Israelis and Palestinians are literally fighting for their lives.

Robin Graham is Jewish and moved to Israel seven years ago.

"My whole country is scared and terrified," she said.

In Graham’s eyes, her family and friends are being randomly threatened by knife-wielding Palestinian terrorists.

Rami Ghaneyem, of Durham, says that is not the case.

"That occupation is so suffocating that it’s just simply overflowing," he said.

Ghaneyem's family is from Palestine. He said he has visited the country a dozen times.

The escalating violence between the Israelis and Palestinians alarms both Graham and Ghaneyem.

A rash of Palestinian stabbing attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in recent weeks has killed eight Israelis and at least 29 Palestinians. The unrest began a month ago, when Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, hurling stones and firebombs at police.

Graham says she now gets nervous walking around the streets of her town with her children.

"The street cleaners in my town are usually Arab, so I get nervous when I see them with a weed wacker and I have to walk by them with my children," she said.

Graham wants gun restrictions loosened so she can protect her children from Palestinians.

"Israel has a right to defend itself and protect its citizens," she said.

In Ghanayem's eyes, Israeli oppression has pushed his people to a breaking point.

"Are they defending themselves? Or are they on the offense?" he said. "All that happens when you breathe under occupation is - you can't breathe and nobody's listening to you. If we are protesting this occupation and your rebuttal to it is we get to shoot you, then our rebuttal to it is, an eye for an eye."

While there are no easy answers, both Graham and Ghanayem said they will not stop hoping and working for peace.


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