SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — The war between Israel and Hamas began eight days ago and has left thousands dead.
Groups across the county and here in Sioux Falls are rallying behind Israel and its people.
A prayer vigil was held in Downtown Sioux Falls on Sunday by one of these groups.
South Dakotans for Israel, the community of Sioux Falls gathered alongside local and state leadership at the El Riad Shrine in Downtown Sioux Falls.
“We felt that it was time for us to come together as a community, both as Jews and as citizens of goodwill, that wanted to share their fears, their terror, their grief, their mourning,” said Stephen Rosenthal, South Dakotans for Israel.
Throughout the service, members of the Jewish community honored the many who have fallen to the war and prayed for an end to the conflict.
“We must know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, the end of the darkness. We must keep our faith in God and one another to continue this battle,” said Jacob Forstein, president of the Mount Zion congregation.
Governor Kristi Noem and Senator John Thune were also in attendance. Both spoke of the importance of standing behind the people of Israel.
Thune says the Hamas attack is a humanitarian issue not just for the people of Israel but for Palestine as well.
“There are so many Palestinian people who are subjected to and victims of a lot of these atrocities that are committed by the terrorist organization, Hamas. And so our sympathy is also with them. And they are in many cases, also, victims of all this,” Thune said.
Rosenthal says their group will continue advocating for Israel and the Jewish population, and hopes the rest of the county will do the same.
“We had it happen 80 years ago with the Holocaust to the Jewish people. Today we’re seeing it happening to the Jewish state. We have said ‘never again’, we have to put meaning behind our words,” Rosenthal said.
The vigil also featured psalms readings and a singing of the Israel National Anthem.