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NEW YORK CITY (NewsNation Now) — Just hours after a cease-fire was announced in the Israel-Hamas conflict, pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters began fighting in Times Square.
The groups were eventually separated by gates, with several protesters being taken into custody by New York City police. Some protesters were throwing water bottles and other projectiles at each other.
NewsNation correspondent Tom Negovan noted that some sort of device was ignited creating a chemical in the air he said smelled like tear gas. The NYPD reported a firework was launched among protesters at one point.
Protesters began gathering in Times Square shortly after it was announced that President Joe Biden would speak following a ceasefire announcement.
Israel and Hamas announced a cease-fire would go into effect at 2 a.m. Friday, ending an 11-day war that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and brought life in much of Israel to a halt.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Israel accepted the Egyptian proposal after a late-night meeting of his Security Cabinet. Hamas quickly followed suit and said it would honor the deal.
The fighting erupted on May 10, when Hamas militants in Gaza fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem. The barrage came after days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Heavy-handed police tactics at the compound, built on a site holy to Muslims and Jews, and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinians by Jewish settlers had inflamed tensions.
The competing claims to Jerusalem lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have repeatedly triggered bouts of violence in the past.
Hamas and other militant groups fired over 4,000 rockets into Israel throughout the fighting, launching the projectiles from civilian areas at Israeli cities. Dozens of projectiles flew as far north as Tel Aviv, the country’s bustling commercial and cultural capital.
Israel, meanwhile, carried out hundreds of airstrikes targeting what it said was Hamas’ military infrastructure, including a vast tunnel network.
At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, with 1,710 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not break the numbers down into fighters and civilians. Twelve people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl, were killed.
NewsNation is live on the scene of this developing story. Check back soon for updates.