War in Gaza has impact in SC, says USC professor - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

War in Gaza has impact in SC, says USC professor

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

As violence erupts between Gaza and Israel on the other side of the world, a University of South Carolina professor says what's happening in the Middle East can have a huge impact for us here at home in South Carolina.

"The territorial disputes in Israel and Gaza are delicate and important," USC law professor Joel Samuels said.

Palmetto State legislators have expressed lots of support for Israel in the past and have even passed legislation in support of the nation and its economy. In fact, nine of the bills presented in the State House just the last legislative session deal with the Israeli nation and two are tied to state economic interests.

Even when it comes to security measures in Israel, South Carolina has a hand in helping. Myrtle Beach firefighter Brett Holland recently returned from Israel where he avoided gunfire and saved lives.

"Around 3 a.m. was the first big boom," Holland described. "Shook the ground."

So what effects Israeli business and security could be felt here in South Carolina.

"That spread of violence has effects here," said Samuels. "It has effects in that sort of humanitarian way, it also has effects economically in terms of economic development as the state tries to increase its international economic presence."

Although Israel and Gaza are a half a world away, Samuels points out it hits close to home.

"Not ever time an American loses their life in the conflict between Israel and Gaza will they be from South Carolina," Samuels said, " but the possibilities are growing."

Recent troubles in the region have only gotten more heated since July 8 when clashes between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas broke out into outright war in Gaza.

As it stands, Samuels says there have been over 650 deaths in the conflict. Of those, 31 are Israeli soldiers and 630 are Palestinians.

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