Hall County

Church’s pro-Israel sign painted with “Free Palestine”

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A church in Hall County wants to know who vandalized its sign that reads “We Stand With Israel.”

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The vandals came late Sunday night to North Hall Church near Gainesville and used red spray paint to write the words “Free Palestine” on the banner. The church’s security video shows a car stopping at the sign along Mount Vernon Road just before 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

“I’d really love to sit down with the individuals that did it and say hey, what were you thinking? I understand we disagree,” said Bucky Kennedy, the lead pastor of North Hall Church.

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In the security video, it appears two people got out of the car and hid behind the sign when another car passed. At one point, a light flashed as if they were taking pictures of themselves. The church reported the vandalism to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating.

Kennedy told Channel 2′s Bryan Mims he put up the sign a couple of days after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7th, killing some 1,400 people and taking more than 200 hostages.

“That’s why we stand with Israel,” Kennedy said. “I want Jews to know Jesus, I want Palestinians to know Jesus. I’m not against the Palestinians. I’m shocked by Hamas that they did what they did, but not all Palestinians are Hamas.”

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This incident comes as Israel bombards Gaza, intending to eradicate Hamas, an Islamist militant group. More than 8,000 Palestinians have died in the fighting, and pro-Palestinian protesters worldwide have marched to condemn Israel’s assault.

“They think that our support of Israel is an attack against Palestinians, which is not true,” Kennedy said. “Our support is the support of Israel because the Bible says we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

The church now has a new banner standing along the road.

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