NEW YORK CITY (PIX 11) — Thousands of demonstrators flooded Columbus Circle Friday in support of Palestine more than a month since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
Demonstrators are calling the bombings in Gaza a humanitarian crisis and are demanding an end to U.S. aid to Israel.
Nijmah Ayesh is frustrated with the war’s impact on her family in Gaza.
“We have family in Gaza, yes we do, and their homes have been destroyed,” said Ayesh. “We go to the mosque every day. There are prayers for the dead. There are no more tears to shed for the children in Palestine and yet our government supports not the peaceful side of the quote, unquote Israel. They’re supporting the IDF killing, bombing children.”
Tensions escalated when a counter-protestor came face to face with ralliers holding a sign and waving an Israeli flag while denouncing Hamas and showing his support for Israel.
“They’ve been attacked their entire existence,” pro-Israel demonstrator Gregory Jachts said. “They make a peace agreement and the next day they’re attacked. They defend themselves, and how can you not defend someone. They come in, they attack kids at a music festival, they behead babies, they kill and rape women, they kill parents in front of their children.”
The protest spilled into the streets, stopping traffic, as ralliers made their way through Manhattan. Their calls echo the urgent need for diplomatic solutions.
“I think we got to show Israel it has to stop,” said pro-Palestine demonstrator Jose Rosete. “There’s only one solution, two states Palestine and Israel living together. That’s the only way.”
Demonstrators on both sides of the conflict have been rallying across the Tri-state area since the start of the war with more events planned in the coming days.