The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Over 50 Iowa City high school students walk out of class to protest Israel-Hamas war

The students walked out of class on Friday to voice their support for Palestine.
Grace Smith
Protesters yell chants during a protest in support of Palestinian people, held by Iowans For Palestine, at the University of Iowa Pentacrest in Iowa City on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. Iowans for Palestine were joined by community members and a City High School walkout, who voiced frustration and anger over the Jan. 18 Iowa House of Representatives resolution that supports Israel and condemns Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. About 50 protesters yelled chants and marched around downtown after the chants.

Over 50 students from Iowa City high schools gathered on the Pentacrest Friday afternoon to protest the Israel-Hamas war. 

Protester chants included “Israel bombs, USA pays, how many kids have you killed today?”, “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Palestine will never die,” and “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, you support genocide.”

They also brought signs that condemned Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, including the killing of children in Gaza, and they brought megaphones to lead chants. 

High school students, many from Iowa City High School, walked out of class at 3:00 p.m.

“There are people suffering, bombs being dropped, innocent civilians being hurt, and the Biden administration is funding it,” Jinann Abudagga, a West High School junior, said. “Do your own research and call your representatives for a ceasefire immediately.”

Many protestors voiced their dissent to the U.S.’s funding of Israel’s bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip. The U.S. House approved $14.5 billion in funding in November to Israel for military aid, according to the Associated Press.  

“If the United States refused to back Israel’s war in Gaza, the war there would end,” Ed Flaherty, a member of Veterans for Peace, said.

James Meggitt, a senior at Iowa City High School, said they think the connection between people against the Israel-Hamas war and anti-semitism is unfounded.

“One thing that has really frustrated me is the kind of perceived alignment between pro-Palestine and anti-Semitism,” Meggitt said. “I believe everyone here — while against the Israeli government and what they’re doing in Gaza — is definitely supportive of the Jewish faith.”

Asha Keller, a student at the University of Iowa, said she wants to see more engagement from the community surrounding the Israel-Hamas war. 

“I see way too many people passing by just going about their day like it doesn’t hurt them,” Keller said. “It makes me sad that there’s not more empathy in the community.”

On Jan. 2, the Iowa City City Council passed a resolution in a 4-3 vote calling for a ceasefire in Palestine and Israel, the return of captives taken, and the delivery of humanitarian aid. 

The resolution also affirmed the city’s opposition to all forms of hate and the desire for a political solution in the region.  

On the state level, the Iowa House representatives passed a resolution in support of Israel on Jan. 18. 

The representative’s resolution condemns the surprise attack from Hamas against Israel, labeling it a terror attack that threatens Israel’s sovereignty by indiscriminately killing civilians. Through the resolution, the Iowa House supports Israel’s right to pursue, without interference, the destruction of Hamas. 

According to the AP, the Israel military has killed 26,000 Palestinians as of Friday, with more than 64,000 Palestinians wounded by the Israel Defense Forces. The conflict started after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Oct. 7, killing approximately 1,200 people in Israel. 

The AP reports that Israel continues to bomb the Gaza Strip with thousands of displaced Palestinians waiting at the southern border of the Gaza Strip for refuge in Egypt.

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About the Contributors
Jack Moore
Jack Moore, News Editor
Jack Moore is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is from Cedar Rapids Iowa. Along with working at The Daily Iowan, Jack works for the University of Iowa's UI-REACH program as a Resident Assistant. UI-REACH is a program for students with learning, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities intended to provide support to these students throughout their college experience. Additionally, Jack is involved in Iowa City's live music scene as he plays bass for local Iowa City band "Two Canes."
Grace Smith
Grace Smith, Senior photojournalist and filmmaker
Grace Smith is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic Arts. In her four years at The Daily Iowan, she has held the roles of photo editor, managing summer editor, and visual storyteller. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Grace has held an internship at The Denver Post and pursued freelance assignments for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register.