Pro-Palestinian protests held in major US cities

Washington, May 16 (IANS): Demonstrators took to streets across a number of major US cities, demanding an end to the escalating violence between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

In the capital Washington, D.C., hundreds took part in pro-Palestinian protests on Saturday, marching from the Washington Monument to the US Capitol, reports Xinhua news agency.

Also on Saturday, thousands of people rallied in Los Angeles in support of Palestinians.

Local media said a handful of pro-Israel counter-protesters also gathered, and police officers kept the groups separated.

A demonstration that started in a neighbourhood in the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, which has a large Arabic-speaking community, continued through the streets for several hours on Saturday afternoon, said an ABC News report.

In San Francisco, a raucous crowd banged drums and yelled "Palestine will be free" as they marched across the Mission district to Dolores Park, the report said, adding that pro-Palestinian demonstrations were also held in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and some other US cities.

The protests were planned for Nakba Day, which Palestinians observe every May 15 to commemorate the 1948 displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians amid Israel's war of independence, local media reported.

Since the tensions flared up on May, Israel has pounded Gaza with hundreds of air strikes and shells, killing at least 145 people, including 41 children and 23 women.

Meanwhile, rockets fired by militant groups in Gaza have killed 10 people, including a five-year-old boy, a soldier and two women.






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