CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Israeli forces bombed Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip for a fifth day Sunday, killing several civilians.
But on the first day of his tour through Southeast Asia, President Obama defended Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas militants. On Sunday 22News spoke with activists on both sides of the conflict to find out if they think peace is a possibility.
Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip describe their home in total destruction right now, as the death toll rises and the threat of an Israeli invasion grows.
Christopher Clarke, an activist who has spent time in Palestine, said, "There was a family today, 14 of them were killed with one aerial strike. It's just a total disproportionate use that Israel is currently using on a captive population."
But supporters of Israel say Israelis haven't occupied the Gaza Strip since 2005, and their recent attacks are in response to the hundreds of rockets that have been launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel's civilian communities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Tani Sapirstein, chair at the Anna P. Housen Israel Desk, told 22News, "It's no different than if rockets were launched at American cities from Mexico or Canada. As ludicrous as that sounds, the United States would also defend its citizens. That's what a country is obligated to do."
Despite what they see as a brutal Israeli occupation, Palestinians are resolute in their mission for justice: their right of return to settle in their homeland.
Clarke said, "Something incredible is to see the steadfastness of the Palestinians and making the most out of the situation and still trying to live their lives in the face of this enormous glaring occupation."
Still, supporters of Israel say if Palestine came to the table for peace, Israel would as well.
Sapirstein said, "They need to be assured that if there's a two-state solution, there is in fact a Jewish state and a Palestinian state and the Palestinians are not in fact dedicated to destroying the Jewish state because then there's not a lot to talk about."