NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Several hundred demonstrators gathered in Manhattan Saturday to protest Israeli actions against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
Ralliers began organizing near Columbus Circle, and planned to march to the United Nations headquarters.
Zouleikha Ban, who was born in Algeria and lives in Staten Island, said protesters feel they are all Palestinians because “there is no justice” in Gaza.
Protest organizers are calling for an end to U.S. aid to Israel.
Many demonstrators say it’s no longer just about the firing across the border, it’s about Israel’s blockade of Gaza, 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported. Some protesters said they don’t believe Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state.
“Israel has the power, Israel has political power, Israel has the money, Israel has everything, everything is at their resource. But the only option they think they have is to kill,” one protester said.
“Our tax dollars are going to Israel in support of this genocide,” Rula Yousef said. “Innocent children in Gaza have been slaughtered, bombs are being thrown at their houses as we speak and American stands by Israel.”
Demonstrators at the march chanted and waved Palestinian flags. Among them were a small contingent of Jewish people who side with the Palestinians, like Ted Auerbach of Brooklyn.
“A lesson of the Holocaust is never again, never again to another people,” Auerbach said.
Later Saturday, a silent protest and candlelight vigil organized as a social media movement aimed at uniting Jews and Arabs was expected to be held in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near U.N. headquarters.
On Aug. 1, hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied in front of a midtown Manhattan office building after a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire broke down in Gaza.
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