'Free Palestine': Hundreds rally in downtown Raleigh as Israel-Palestine conflict continues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than a thousand gathered in the state's capital on Saturday to show their support for Palestinians in the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip.

Attendees held signs that read "Stop U.S. Funding of Israeli Apartheid." One demonstrator even called out "Free Palestine," by megaphone.

The march comes not long after a building housing media outlets such as The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera in Gaza was destroyed in an airstrike, with journalists in the building given roughly an hour to evacuate. The Israeli Air Force said the building housed Hamas military assets.

Hours later, Israel bombed the home of a top leader of Gaza's ruling militant Hamas group.
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An Israeli airstrike destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets on Saturday.

This week, Hamas has fired more than 1,600 rockets into Israel this week at both civilian and military targets killing 10 and injuring 636, according to Israeli military.

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Rockets streamed out of Gaza and Israel pounded the territory with airstrikes.

The Israeli strikes and shelling in Gaza, which the military says are aimed at Hamas targets, have killed 139 people, including 39 children as of Saturday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. At least 1,000 have been injured.

Gaza is described by many human rights groups as an effective "open-air prison."

According to the IDF and UN reports, Hamas regularly uses apartment buildings as bases of their operations, positioning themselves near civilians for cover. As part of the Israeli assault, whole buildings have been destroyed in devastating airstrikes.

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The death toll in Gaza rose to 43 Palestinians, including 13 children and three women, according to the Health Ministry.

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