DENVER (KDVR) — Israeli and Palestinian communities are both mourning losses in the Israel-Hamas conflict, both abroad and right here in Colorado.
On Wednesday night, a group of Palestinians and their supporters gathered at Washington Park to honor their dead.
“It’s up to 29 people at this point, so it’s kind of hard to keep 29 names in my head,” said Abdullah Elagah, a local Palestinian.
Elagah was joined by dozens of other Palestinians and supporters to grieve their losses.
“It’s something that we, collectively, need to be grieving together in these moments,” said another Palestinian mourner, who asked not to be identified.
The conflict has separated families. One thing that keeps this community connected, Elagah said, is their loss.
“It’s been very hard to hear back from them,” Elagah said.
Grief ‘ongoing’ in decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict
Acknowledging their grief and mourning, Elagah said it is not easy for them to separate the loss from the real-world reasons why they’re occurring.
“I really can’t separate the conflict from the loss because the two go hand in hand,” Elagah said.
Candles, prayer and community are some form of respite from the conflict and death for both sides, something Elagah said is becoming far too routine.
“This is a weird kind of grief, because it’s ongoing,” Elagah said.
A community shared its suffering amid the conflict, one that has raged for longer than some of these folks have been alive.
“I don’t have the luxury of saying that I lost a family member and now it’s over, and now I can process it and grieve about it,” Elagah said.
4,800 estimated dead in Israel-Hamas conflict
Wednesday’s gathering was a moment of pause for Elagah — a way to connect with his community here and thousands of miles away.
“Unfortunately, the reality of it is they probably won’t see any of this,” Elagah said, “but they know that we care.”
Health officials in Gaza report the latest death toll at over 3,400. In Israel, the death toll stands at 1,400.
Losses on both sides — and grief both abroad and right here in Colorado.