NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Mourning is everywhere in the Middle East, and in the Tri-State.
In New Jersey, elected officials and families of Palestinian descent met to call for peace and justice in the Middle East.
As the impact of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war continues to disrupt lives, the call for peace was held at the Council on American Islamic Relations office in Newark on Wednesday.
Nearly everyone who attended shared their personal story of loss due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Franklin Township Board of Education member, Sami Shaban, says his father called him on his birthday to tell him that nine members of their family were killed in a bombing.
"They were killed with a bomb that dropped on them in their house," said Shaban. "In that one bomb, four generations were lost."
An infant cousin and his uncle survived - but barely.
"All those children that are orphans, all those people that have seen these horrific things, whether it's the Israelis or Palestinians, it's only going to set the stage for the next cycle and more suffering," said Jersey City Councilman Yousef Saleh.
Since this latest war began 26 days ago, in this generations-long conflict, 1,400 Israelis and more than 8,700 Palestinians have been killed, including Bilal Saleh, a cousin to Councilman Saleh, who says Bilal was harvesting olives on his farm when he was attacked.
"I looked at him. He's bleeding from his chest, he still had his work gloves on," said Saleh. "He was providing for his family."
These families in mourning, joined with CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to call for peace and justice.