The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Students call for immediate ceasefire in Middle East

The rally for ceasefire wasn’t affiliated with a particular student group
Shauna Muckle
Ammar Alhajmee, ’26, speaks to a crowd of students calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza strip on Oct. 18.

Students gathered to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and mourn lives lost on Wednesday following a faculty panel on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Students walked silently with candles from Elrod Commons to University Chapel. To a crowd of nearly 60, organizer Ammar Alhajmee, ’26, said, “We stand here today on the side of humanity and [to] try to avert the continued loss of innocent lives.”

Alhajmee made specific calls to end indiscriminate killings in Gaza and to stop the forced displacement of Palestinians from their home. He also called for Israel to return water and electricity to Gaza, and to allow the transfer of emergency medical supplies.

Students hold signs calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza strip while standing for four minutes of silence. (Shauna Muckle)

On Wednesday, more than 3,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis had died in the conflict. On Monday, the death toll in Gaza had risen above 5,000, according to United Nations news.

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Students, faculty and staff then joined in four minutes of silence to honor lives lost.

Alhajmee directed donations to two organizations: Islamic Relief and Medical Aid for Palestinians. He encouraged students to lobby their representatives to support a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the region.

Tania Kozachanska, ’26, the co-organizer of the event, said she and Alhajmee decided not to host the event under the umbrella of a particular student organization. Initially, the plan was for Palestinian students to co-organize an event with Hillel, but they “realized it might be too hurtful for both sides to come here together,” Kozachanska said.

Hillel President Gabby Kogan echoed Kozachanska’s remarks.

“It was too early,” she said. “The conflict was and is very fresh for Jewish students. A lot of us are directly affected, or our families [are].”

Hillel’s board met with the rally organizers on Tuesday, the day before the event, Kogan said.

Meanwhile, Hillel celebrated the 13th anniversary of its on-campus house with a bayit mitzvah on Friday. Alumni and current members discussed the conflict at that event. The Phi covered that event in a separate article.

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Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief

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