Palestinian-American living in Wilmington weighs in on Gaza conflict

Palestinian-American living in Wilmington weighs in on Gaza conflict
Musa Agil speaks to the community at an event at The Foxes Boxes Wednesday night. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Things were a bit quieter in the West Bank on Wednesday after days of protests and violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

The move of the United States Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing it as the capital of Israel, sparked anger amongst Palestinians who say they have a right to part of Jerusalem.

Musa Agil was born in the West Bank and was 14 when the Israelis invaded the West Bank area.

He's been a naturalized U.S. citizen for nearly 40 years and says the people in Gaza are suffering.

"We are blaming the occupied, not the occupiers," Agil said. "We are blaming the innocent, totally defenseless people, not the people who are shooting at them. We're blaming a civilian population that has nothing to do really with what's going on."

Thousands of years of hostility and decades of violence have led the West Bank to where it is today.

"There is a siege today or a blockade that's being maintained by the Israeli army of that Gaza Strip for the past 10 years," he said.

Agil says the people of Gaza are protesting not just over a holy land, but because the Israeli government is keeping them from resources they need to survive.

"Those people live like in a large prison and this siege is maintained by air, by land, and by sea," he said. "Nobody can go inside Gaza and nobody can go out of Gaza."

Since Monday, more than 60 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and thousands have been injured.

"And now they're blaming these people for the riots and violence. You're not blaming the people who are doing the shooting," Agil said.

Agil said he believes the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel should be something all parties decided.

"I'm an American and a Muslim-American. I think recognizing the state of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel should be done by the parties themselves after a peace settlement, after negotiations," he said.

As the dead are buried, wounded recover in hospitals, and protests continue, Agil says Americans should condemn the violence.

"So many children are losing their lives. So many people are losing their lives and what for?" he said.

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