AUSTIN, Texas - As the death toll continues to rise from the Israel-Hamas war, Central Texans gathered at the State Capitol Sunday afternoon to stand by those who have been impacted.
For some, the war in Israel is personal.
"I'm here to stand with Israel because my family is in Israel. I'm here to stand with innocent people because you're supposed to do the good thing, not for any other reason other than because it's humanly possible to do so," says Adam Sud, rally attendee.
Sud says he’s been able to communicate with his family in Israel.
"We talk to them almost every morning and they're safe and they're…they're worried. They're concerned. They're concerned in a way that I've never heard or felt them feel concerned before. And that makes me feel sad," says Sud.
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Some families weren’t as fortunate as his.
"Two members of my extended family have been murdered in cold blood. The 26-year-old was attending the party, the music festival, the Northern Music festival with his childhood friends. He and three of his of friends were murdered in cold blood next to the car. They were hiding next to a car. And they were found dead, shot pointblank execution style by Hamas," says one speaker.
The Capitol's south lawn was filled with people all sharing a similar message: "We stand for Israel."
"We're one small community here, but we're a part of the greater community of the world. And. And whether you're consider yourself Jewish or not, if you're here with us, if you're standing up, you're a part of our community and it's moving. And I feel it's important," says Sud.
"The Jewish community is very small. You know, there's no one who either everyone has either lost his family or knows someone who has lost friends and family. Everyone is deeply connected and grieving," says Toba Hellerstein, organizer of the rally.
Not so long ago, Central Texans from Ukraine we’re also at the Capitol rallying for support. After hearing about the attack in Israel, they also stood by them.
"I stand not only with Ukraine and with Israel, but I stand for civilization. This is a civilization fight. If Israel falls, if Ukraine falls, tyranny will continue and it will come to our doorsteps," says Paul Volosen, rally attendee.
According to the U.S. embassy in Israel, the U.S. government is working to help get Americans out of Israel by boat on Monday.
The ship departs from Haifa Israel for Cyprus, where evacuees can then board a flight back to the States.