Over the weekend thousands across the United States attended pro-Palestinian marches and demonstrations on the streets of New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles - calling for an immediate end to the Israeli airstrikes which have killed about 200 people, many of them children.
Large demonstrations also popped up in Europe, including Paris despite authorities imposing a blanket ban on street protests through the French capital. Berlin and London also saw significant protest activity, with signs like "Free Palestine" and chants of "Long live the Intifada!". Events were also held in some large Canadian cities like Toronto. But in numerous places counter-protesters were present, waving Israeli flags while in some cases calling Palestinians "terrorists" - and that's where things got violent...
As seen in the US after Trump rallies, groups of people would look for stragglers walking to their cars to mob & assault. In Toronto yesterday, some people with #Palestine symbols went after those who had #Israel flags or signs. pic.twitter.com/9vXZcc5Qym— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) May 16, 2021
In a number of instances it appeared that Antifa groups merged with the pro-Palestine demonstrations, and proceeded to attack individuals that were part of pro-Israel counter-protests.
Pro-Palestine protestors surrounded a smaller group of Israel supporters & hurled projectiles. At one point, they brutally assaulted an elderly Jewish man. Reporting for @TPostMillennial by @PuffinsPictures: https://t.co/dMTZHVBHDI— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) May 16, 2021
Toronto: Large lines of police keep the peace by separating pro-Israel & anti-Israel protesters. pic.twitter.com/PoNjlb3y1l— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) May 16, 2021
In another instance, in Winnipeg, Canada - police had to form a barrier to prevent two rival protest groups from clashing.
And in London over the weekend...
Pro-Palestine protesters clash with pro-Israel demonstrators and police during a demonstration in central London against Israel.— The National (@TheNationalNews) May 12, 2021
Violence erupts as police attempt to escort away a small group of pro-Israel demonstrators https://t.co/REdUAitsBf pic.twitter.com/xtJ4hNqXBN
One viral video from London showed an apparently Muslim man spewing hatred for Jews, calling on people to "rape their daughters"...
Finchley Road. North London. 2021.— Spotify fan JB™️ (@gunnerpunner) May 16, 2021
Genuinely terrifying. pic.twitter.com/8I4puROGeA
In some instances protesters took over roads and freeways - or at least attempted to...
Large protests as well as pro-Israel counter protests were held in Los Angeles. Near the court house the two groups were separated by barbed wire.
Pro Palestinian demonstrators have arrived and are chanting “Allahu Akbar!”— James Klüg (@realJamesKlug) May 16, 2021
LAPD officers are keeping them separated pic.twitter.com/5rO97yGceA
Such fierce demonstrations and counter-demonstrations are triggered every time there's a major fight between Gaza and Israel, particularly during the 2014 war.
Multiple thousands marched in Washington D.C. over the weekend, with most holding flags representing the Palestinian Authority.
Thousands marching on Congress for Palestine pic.twitter.com/oel3ft5Ei5— Kei Pritsker (@KeiPritsker) May 15, 2021
Passions and tensions will continue to remain on edge into this week...
Such protest scenes are expected to continue, especially as Israel's leaders have vowed to continue airstrikes on Gaza, with one Israeli general over the weekend saying the army is capable of sustaining its operations "forever".
Pro-Palestinian protesters took to the streets across the U.S. on Saturday to demand an end to Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip. https://t.co/BPq0DzTod3— WDRB News (@WDRBNews) May 16, 2021
Fighting has entered its second week, after about 3,000 total missiles launched on Israel from Gaza, killing at least ten Israeli civilians.
About 200 Palestinians, meanwhile, have been killed by airstrikes on Gaza - with up to one-third of these tragically being children.