Protesters gather in Hinsdale for Gaza rally

Opponents of the war in Gaza rallied Sunday in downtown Hinsdale.

The group first gathered on the south lawn of the Memorial Building, shouting anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian chants and criticizing U.S. support of Israel.

"No more money for Israel's crime! No more bombing Palestine! Not another nickel, not another dime! Free, free Palestine!"

Many of the 50 or so participants were draped in Palestinian flags or stoles and carried flags or signs. They used bullhorns to make sure their message could be heard.

The annual Fine Arts Fest was taking place right across Chicago Avenue at the same time. After a several minutes on the lawn, the protesters marched south on Garfield Avenue across the railroad tracks, west on Hinsdale Avenue, south on Washington and then north on Washington Street before returning to the Memorial Building lawn.

Hinsdale Police Chief Brian King said protest leaders Insiyah Moosabhoy and Ayesha Ahmed, both rising seniors at Hinsdale Central, had alerted his department to activity beforehand.

"We coordinated with them the morning of the protest and worked out a plan," King said. "There were no issues related to the protest."

Asked if the group needed to obtain a protest, King said there is no permit category for protesting.

In their press release announcing the protest, Moosabhoy and Ahmed said the rally's aim was to promote justice.

"We are strong advocates for peace and justice," they stated.

Israel's military campaign to destroy Hamas, the military and governing authority in the Gaza Strip, has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza-based Ministry of Health, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

Israel launched the invasion following a Hamas attack Oct. 7 in southern Israel that killed approximately 1,200 people. About 250 were kidnapped and taken back to Gaza, according to reports. In November, 105 of the hostages, many of them Thais, were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners. Of those still in captivity, Israel has pronounced 43 dead. About 80 surviving hostages remain in Gaza.

Ceasefire talks have been taking place on and off for months, news organizations report, with little progress, as the issue has become a flashpoint on college campuses across the U.S. and in some local communities.