Area residents demand Naperville City Council pass resolution calling for ceasefire in Gaza

One of the over forty area residents who demanded the Naperville City Council issue a ceasefire resolution for Gaza
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It was standing room only at Tuesday’s Naperville City Council meeting, with the majority of the crowd on hand to urge the council to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Gaza ceasefire resolution sparks controversy

46 area residents spoke on the issue during public forum. Many audience members brought signs and Palestinian flags into council chambers.

Naperville resident Enida Abdeen demanded an “immediate” ceasefire resolution in Gaza.

“How can you justify what is happening in Gaza?” said Abdeen. “How can you justify the destruction of homes, places of worship, and hospitals?… A whole population starved as the Israelis continue to block incoming aid.”

Several Bolingbrook residents came to Tuesday’s meeting and voiced their support for a ceasefire resolution from the Naperville dais. Last week, Bolingbrook became the second municipality in Illinois to vote in favor of a resolution, the first being Chicago in late January.

Bolingbrook’s Patty Droogan said she is frustrated with the federal government’s approach to a ceasefire resolution and wanted Naperville to take a stand.

“We have lost our faith in our senators, our congressman, and our president,” said Droogan. “They are not listening to us, it is falling on deaf ears… We’re coming to you guys now to reach out for your guys’ help.”

A few speakers voiced their disdain for the city potentially issuing a ceasefire resolution. One was Naperville resident Suzanne Hart, who said the overwhelming support for the resolution at Tuesday’s meeting was “inciting hate” toward Jewish people.

“Stop bringing this up in our community,” said Hart. “There is nothing that is going to happen in the Middle East because Naperville or Chicago or anyone else is going to pass a resolution… It breaks my heart because that’s not our community.”

Naperville resident Mark Rice also disapproved of a ceasefire in the region, calling Hamas a “terrorist organization.”

“If you would just say, ‘Let’s get Hamas to surrender and release the hostages,’ there would be no more fighting, there’d be no more innocent deaths… but it doesn’t appear that that’s going to happen,” said Rice.

After Rice’s comments, some meeting attendees let out jeers, causing Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli to remove one pro-Palestinian speaker from the audience.

Chapter 5 of the Naperville Municipal Code states audience members shall refrain from “applauding, cheering, or booing during or at the conclusion of any remarks made by any speaker, staff member, or council members.”

The Naperville City Council made no action on a Gaza ceasefire resolution Tuesday night, as the item was not on the agenda.

After the meeting, Wehrli declined to comment on Naperville issuing any such resolution in the future.

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