About 40 protesters gathered Monday, Oct. 16, at the International Museum of Muslim Culture in Jackson in protest of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Delana Tavakol, an Iranian-American from Jackson, yelled “Free, free Palestine!” into a bullhorn after wiping away tears. The group’s message was no ground invasion, no occupation, and free Palestine. Speakers from Jackson’s Muslim and Christian communities spoke at the protest, citing the genocide and inhumanity in the conflict.

On Oct. 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack from Gaza on Israeli towns during a Jewish holiday, causing casualties and abductions. Israel responded with airstrikes and declaring a state of war. As reported by the Associated Press, the Hamas attack resulted in over 1,400 Israeli casualties, with the majority being civilians. Additionally, at least 155 individuals, including children, were taken into Gaza by Hamas, marking the deadliest conflict for Israel since the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria.

In Gaza, officials said the Palestinian death toll is at 2,750.

Thirty U.S. citizens also have been killed and 13 remain unaccounted for.

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Eric J. Shelton was a 2018 corps member in Report for America, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. A native of Columbia, Miss., Eric earned his bachelor’s in photojournalism from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a multimedia journalist for Abilene Reporter-News, chief photographer for the Hattiesburg American and photo editor for the Killeen Daily Herald before joining our team June 2018. He rejoined Mississippi Today as our health photojournalist in January 2022.