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Last updated: Sun. Jul. 20, 2014 - 10:33 am EDT

Dozens gather in Indianapolis to protest Israeli military action

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INDIANAPOLIS — About 100 people gathered at Monument Circle on Saturday to march on Republican Sen. Dan Coats' downtown Indianapolis office and to protest his support for Israel's latest military incursion in Gaza.

The protest came on a day of intensified airstrikes and shelling, as the number of Palestinians killed during Israel's ground offensive rose to at least 342.

Maya Alshawt, a Butler University student, said her cousins in Palestine don't know if they'll survive from one day to the next amid Israeli attacks.

"Day by day, there's no guarantee if they're going to wake up or if they're even going to have a roof over their heads," said Alshawt, 18, who was born in Alabama after her parents immigrated to the United States from the Middle East.

Tim King, a 62-year-old Indianapolis accountant who helped organize the march, wore a shirt bearing a Palestinian flag and carried a sign that read "You don't need to be Muslim to stand up for Gaza — You just need to be human." As the crowd drifted together, King said about 100 more people had promised to join the march.

The Associated Press left a phone message seeking comment at Coats' Indianapolis office.

Israeli bulldozers on Saturday demolished more than a dozen tunnels in the Gaza Strip that the military said could be used by Hamas to carry out attacks. Diplomats struggled to revive a cease-fire.

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