Rochester, N.Y. - Mohammad Abuolba spent the afternoon with his family in Greece, but his thoughts weren't far from his loved ones who live in the Gaza Strip.
“It's pretty much a nightmare now,” said Abuolba.
Abuolba's brother lives there but was visiting them here when the most recent violence erupted. Now he's stuck in Rochester, worried about his wife and kids who are still in the Gaza Strip.
“We’re trying to coordinate things for him to get him home safe,” said Abuolba.
Getting him back to Gaza safe is only part of the challenge. Making sure he and his family stay safe is one of the reasons Abuolba and his family protested outside the federal building in Rochester Saturday -- asking the U.S. government to step in.
“I don't want to say speak on their behalf. But try and let whoever, let the government know, the world know even though they are the ones who are powerless they are not alone,” said Muna Taha, who was also at the protest. “We are with them. They have people with them all over the world.”
Muna Taha has family in the Palestinian West Bank, but while they're not currently in direct danger, she still has concerns.
Much like Nati Katz worries for his family, who is back where he grew up in Israel.
“I know many parents of friends who are worried, who are concerned,” said Katz. “It's not a good feeling. It's very unnatural when sirens go off in a civilized town.”
As you might imagine, this is not the first time these families have had to deal with a touch-and-go situation like this one.
Abuolba says this conflict is similar to the one in 2008.