Updated: May 27, 2021 9:55:02 am
Hours after Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire agreement on Thursday, halting a bruising 11-day war that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip, violent clashes broke out between demonstrators supporting Israel and Palestine at Times Square in New York City, as per local reports.
Several videos of the demonstrations in New York have since surfaced online, many of which show fights breaking out between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in the middle of Times Square as the police attempt to quell the tension. In one video, a device is seen exploding after it is thrown at a crowd of people on a Manhattan sidewalk.
Brawl broken out in Times Square between Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestine protesters #HappeningNow
Desk@scootercaster.com for licensing pic.twitter.com/R94HY92PBp
— @SCOOTERCASTER (FNTV) (@ScooterCasterNY) May 20, 2021
The demonstration came after 11 days of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which left 240 people dead, according to BBC. On Thursday, Egypt was able to broker a ceasefire.
The New York Police Department’s Arson Investigation Squad is probing the use of explosives at the protest. Authorities have not ascertained the exact number of people who were detained or charged, Fox News reported.
UPDATE – NYPD now say these were two commercial fireworks, thrown from a car.
Correct their initial belief that it was a smoke bomb. https://t.co/8aPqzbHTQC
— Harriet Alexander (@h_alexander) May 21, 2021
Cities and towns across the United States have witnessed marches by Palestinian supporters over the last week and a half. On Tuesday, thousands of protestors shut down traffic as they marched along 42nd Street in Manhattan.
— Leeroy Johnson (@LeeroyPress) May 20, 2021
Similar protests broke out in Washington DC, where demonstrators were seen carrying signs that called Israel an “apartheid state”, and compared Zionism with terrorism, the Independent reported. Demonstrations also took place in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and Michigan.
Yesterday, hundreds gathered in front of the Israeli consulate in Manhattan for a “Free Palestine” demonstration. Supporters were seen waving Palestinian flags while marching down Second Avenue towards downtown New York. However, clashes eventually broke out between supporters of Palestine and Israel, prompting multiple arrests. According to reports, the demonstrators also brawled with the police.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden hailed the Israel-Hamas ceasefire on Friday, stating that he saw the latest development as a “genuine opportunity” to build lasting peace in the Middle East.
“I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy,” he said. “My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that.”
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