ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Raed Salem is in Rockford but has family across the country. With the war going on in Israel, many in the Stateline have loved ones near the violence.

Raed has some immediate family safe in the West Bank, but friends currently near the Gaza Strip.

“Yeah, well, it is sad, I mean, any time you see violence, any time you see civilians get killed, it’s it’s, it’s sad,” Salem said. “Yeah. Basically, you know, the people in the Gaza Strip right now, you know electricity is on and off. You know, communications on and off. But there was like some messages just to see how things going. And they’re doing good or or that the the situation is is not good.”

Raed is from the West Bank but now resides in the Forest City.

“Looking at what’s happening and with the situation over there, I think it’s where we should take a step back and look at what the root cause of the situation. You know, when we look at what’s happening, it’s sad to see civilians are killed, but also it’s sad to see a peace process that lasted for over 30 years.”

Raed appreciates the large Muslim community in the area. He mentioned that he is hurt by the violence worldwide understanding community awareness is crucial.

“We hope that, you know, those type of acts will stop. From both sides, of course. And I’m not talking just about the what’s going on right now, you know, the Gaza Strip and, you know, the West Bank. I’m talking about worldwide Ukraine for example.”

The Iman with the Muslim Association of Greater Rockford said there have been thankfully no safety concerns with their location.