Supporters of both Israel and the Palestinian territories gathered for demonstrations in response to increasing conflict in the region across multiple U.S. cities.
Israel increased airstrikes against Hamas fighters and other militants in Gaza on Wednesday after the groups launched a volley of rockets at Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.
Protesters gathered outside Israeli consulates in New York, New York, and Los Angeles, California, while demonstrators met at the State Department building in Washington, D.C. before marching.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators met outside the Israeli consulate in New York City and heated exchanges began when counter-protesters carrying Israel flags showed up, CBS New York reported.
“My mother lives on the edge of Gaza,” protester Sophie Sassoon said, according to CBS New York. “She’s in a shelter as we speak … This is war. I will not sit and watch the only democracy in the Middle East be ripped apart.”
Protesters from both sides tried to have an open conversation but their efforts were interrupted with screaming, according to CBS New York.
“If this continues, not only Palestinians are gonna die; innocent Israelis are gonna die, too,” a protester said, CBS New York reported.
Over 100 supporters of the Palestinian cause rallied Tuesday outside the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Speakers blamed the Israeli government for oppression and human rights violations.
This video taken by @CBSNewYork Photographer Alex Susskind moments ago pic.twitter.com/24RVAo06fG— Jessica Layton (@JLaytonTV) May 11, 2021
“You can see Israeli aggression especially in Northern Jerusalem and Gaza,” protester Sami Wassef said, according to the LA Daily News. “Houses are being confiscated and families thrown out.”
Protesters chanted “Palestine will be free!” outside the State Department in Washington, D.C., Fox News reported. Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and André Carson of Indiana attended the demonstration.
“Today, I was honored to join [Tlaib] and a diverse crowd of people at the State Department to demand justice for Palestinians,” Carson tweeted. “Americans of all backgrounds have a moral obligation to protect human rights wherever they are threatened — in #SheikhJarrah, and around the world!”
In Gaza, 48 Palestinians including 14 children and three women have died in the violence as of Wednesday, according to the Health Ministry, the AP reported. Over 300 people were wounded, of those 86 were children and 39 women.
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