NEW YORK, Oct. 14 — Thousands of people gathered in a rally at Times Square here on Friday afternoon to support Palestinians in the wake of the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The protest started at 2 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) in Manhattan at the Baruch College plaza with a peaceful prayer service. Then demonstrators marched along 41st Street and Broadway toward Times Square and the Consulate General of Israel.
They chanted and waved Palestine’s red, black and green flag. Some held signs reading “Free Palestine,” “Stand with Palestine,” and “Occupation is terrorism.”
Protesters demanded ending the bombardment of Gaza, stopping the killing of innocent civilians, and terminating all U.S. aid to Israeli apartheid.
The demonstrations came after former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal called for Friday to be a global day of protests against Israel’s retaliation against Hamas, and urged supporters to send a “message of rage to Zionists and to America.”
Police have stepped up their presence in key areas of New York City, which hosts the largest Jewish population in the world outside Israel, following the attacks by militants from Gaza on Israel last Saturday.
Eric Adams, mayor of New York City, ordered additional resources to be sent to schools and houses of worship to brace for potential violence and ensure the safety of the American Jewish community. (Xinhua)