Wilmington residents speak out about the conflicts in the Middle East

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - So far, more than 370 people have died in the renewed fighting in and around Gaza.

While the fighting is miles away, it still has an effect on Palestinians and Israelis living in the Wilmington area.

Musa Agil tried to go about his day as normal Tuesday as he managed the Wrightsville Country Store on Wrightsville Avenue.

His heart, though, is focused on his family and his mind replays the video clips he's seen on the news since Saturday.

Agil is a Palestinian, and like many around the world, is outraged with Israel.

"Israel is a bully neighbor who always tries to get their way, and they're getting away with it," said Agil.

In response to missiles fired into Israel, the Israeli Air-Force has launched an operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

So far, 370 Palestinians have been killed, many of them were Hamas Militants.

Agil calls the Israel invasion, "carnage."

"Life has been very difficult on the other side.  I wish they would take the other side into consideration.  I'm not a Hamas supporter, but I see a civilian population being surrounded and being seized for two years.  What do you expect them to do?" said Agil.

Less than a mile down the road from Agil's store, there is a local Israeli restaurant owner, Shai Shalit.  He has a completely different picture of the events going on in Gaza.

Inside his restaurant, Shalit and his Rabbi watched the latest developments unfold on the news.

"We have to go to this war," said Shalit.  "We have to dismiss those missiles.  We don't have a choice.  We cannot let are sons and daughters sit in shelters all their lives."

Frustrated and saddened that innocent people have lost their lives, Shalit said that his people have suffered from missile attacks long enough.

"We have a very large family in Israel, Max," said Shalit.  "They are suffering from fear everyday in the last three years.  The missiles are coming very close to Tel Aviv.  Someone had to do something about it."

Both men have very different opinions, but what they want in common is peace in the middle east.