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Nazareth College Graduate Caught in Gaza Violence

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Rochester: Nazareth College Graduate Caught in Gaza Violence
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As the fragile situation in Gaza continues to change, one former Rochester-area college student is caught in the middle of the violence.

Nazareth College graduate Mahmoud Altalouli is always afraid.

"Seriously, I'm scared and worried about my kids,” he said, “and a little about myself."

Such is life in Gaza since Altalouli returned four years ago. Last week, a bomb exploded outside his house. Since then, he's moved his family to his father-in-law's home, then his own father's house.

"It's scary. I mean, we thought it was going to be safe. But it is, no place is safe."

And just in the short time we were on the phone:

"So, um, right now here–“

It was an explosion we could hear, only blocks from Altalouli's home. That blast was just minutes before a so-called "cease fire" was scheduled to begin.

"We do pray to have a cease-fire, but we do not believe it very much."

And there is little belief, too, in diplomacy and politics.

"Turkey is trying, Egypt is trying... but the United States has to intervene. The European Union has to intervene."

"If they can bring all the parties together to make sure there can be a peaceful resolution, America will stand by that resolution,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D).

But New York's own senators Tuesday called only for another cease-fire.

"Hopefully cooler heads can prevail, and they can come to some kind of cease fire without any more loss of life,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, (D).

As night fell Tuesday in Gaza, tensions remained extremely high. Mahmoud Altalouli knows something must give, he hopes it's not Gaza.

"I myself do not want this to escalate into a bloodier ground war,” he said “This would really result in Gaza being completely destroyed."

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