At a solidarity gathering for Israel near Chicago, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker chanted "Am Yisrael chai" — the people of Israel live.
The crowds at the event shared support for Israel, grief for the more than 900 Israelis killed by Hamas in the recent attacks, and prayers for safety for loved ones in the country — including a mother and daughter from the neighboring Chicago suburb of Evanston.
U.S. citizens Judith Tai Raanan and Natali Raanan were visiting family in an Israeli town one and a half miles from the Gaza border when Hamas attacked. Their relatives fear they are among the many civilians who have been kidnapped.
Father Uri and brother Ben Raanan have been desperately asking on Facebook if anyone has seen or heard from them.
Others at the solidarity event near Chicago said they've been contacting friends and family in Israel, checking in to make sure they are safe.
Amid the support for Israel were hopes for peace and sympathy for people in the Gaza strip, which is now under a "complete siege" by the Israeli military — and cut off from electricity, food, water and fuel.
"We who believe in peace and freedom and human rights for Israelis, for Palestinians, for all of humankind, must reject those who use terror as their weapon," said Pritzker.
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