RALEIGH, N.C. — The Israel-Hamas war continues into another day as tensions on both sides remain high.

    What You Need To Know

  • Hamas launched an attack on Israeli civilians Saturday

  • Death tolls have risen above 1,700 for Palestinians and Israelis

  • Rania Masri is of Palestinian and Lebanese descent  
  • She spent 17 years in Lebanon teaching at different universities

Since Hamas attacked, there have been more than 900 Israelis killed. Most of the Israeli deaths are counted as civilians, while some members of the Israeli military are dead as well.

The Gaza Ministry of Health has reported more than 830 Palestinians are dead, too. The retaliation from Israel is still in effect as air strikes have turned across Gaza.

Rania Masri has longstanding ties to that area of the world, being of both Palestinian and Lebanese ancestry. The American citizen most recently returned stateside in 2022 after 17 years of teaching in Lebanon. During her time in the region, she said a barrage of fighter jets always seemed to be overhead.

“The Israelis consider it a declaration of war, but they have been at war with Palestinians for 75 years. They declared war against us 75 years ago when they began the occupation of our lands,” Masri said.

Masri doesn't want people to lump all Palestinians into Hamas.

“We are simply saying, all we have been saying for 75 years, is we want to live in peace: Jew, Christian, Muslim, side-by-side,” Masri said.

Masri said her Palestinian family members are alive in the West Bank and Gaza Strip but fearful of what is come. 

“I woke up Friday night at midnight because I could not sleep,” Masri said. “We’re talking about people’s lives, people’s homes, people’s dreams. If we’re not going to get emotional about that, there’s nothing left to care about. I am terrified for my family in Gaza.”

Because of modern-day restrictions, Masri has not been allowed to enter Palestine.

“Our relationship to our land is our relationship to ourselves. It’s who we are,” Masri said.