OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK), Oklahoma City metro mosques and Muslim student organizations are inviting the local community to join in a vigil Friday evening to “unite in prayers for peace and justice” as Gaza’s humanitarian crisis grows.

CAIR-OK says community members will share stories from Gaza highlighting the connection many Oklahomans have to the ongoing crisis. Reflections and prayers will also be offered by members of the Indigenous, African American and Muslim communities.

“Now, more than ever, it is important for the community to come together to pray for the people of Gaza and work together to find a path toward peace and justice for the Palestinian people,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. “It is our hope that this even will provide the emotional support our community needs during this challenging time while providing guidance on ways they can help.”

The vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City’s Mercy Mission building, 3840 N. St Clair Ave.

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza continue and Israel’s defense minister has told troops to be ready for a ground assault on the Palestinian territory, although he has not said when that will begin.

More than 1 million Palestinians, roughly half of Gaza’s population, have fled homes in the north and Gaza City after Israel told them to evacuate. The airstrikes early Thursday continued across the entire territory, including in areas in the south that Israel had declared as “safe zones.”

The Gaza Health Ministry said 3,785 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, the majority of them women, children and older adults. Nearly 12,500 others were injured, and another 1,300 people were believed buried under the rubble, health authorities said.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that limited humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza from Egypt following a request from U.S. President Joe Biden.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly in the initial attack.

The war, which began on Oct. 7, has become the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides.