Philadelphia streets and campuses witness ongoing protests urging a Gaza cease-fire amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, now entering its sixth week. Demonstrations persist, demanding elected officials and institutions to press for an end to Israel’s military actions in Gaza, where over 11,000 Palestinians have lost their lives since the conflict’s outbreak on Oct. 7.
While pro-Israel rallies have diminished locally, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia organized a Washington rally supporting Israel’s offensive and condemning antisemitism. Senator John Fetterman, present at the rally, displayed support for Israel with an Israeli flag.
In response, University of Pennsylvania students launched the “Freedom School for Palestine,” advocating for a campus dialogue on the conflict and criticizing Penn’s response. The group aims to support a cease-fire, protect campus free speech, and enhance academic studies on Palestinian issues, highlighting tensions felt by some students critical of Israel’s actions.
Protesters continue to target Fetterman for his support of Israel’s military actions. Activists outside his office memorialized Gaza’s casualties, demanding an end to military funding for Israel, expressing frustration at the lack of response from authorities.
Various weekend demonstrations swept through Philadelphia, advocating for peace and protesting U.S. intervention in global conflicts. Actions near Penn’s campus and elsewhere reiterated solidarity with Gaza, calling for a halt to the violence.
The city remains a focal point for these passionate protests, emphasizing the urgent need for a cease-fire and lasting peace in the region.