Following a major outbreak of violence in Israel and Gaza over the weekend, pro-Palestinian rallies occurred Sunday in multiple U.S. cities which were met by groups supporting Israel, leading in some cases to skirmishes.
Here in San Francisco, one such rally drew hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators outside the Israeli consulate on Montgomery Street on Sunday — NBC Bay Area puts the number in the "thousands" — and they were met by a reportedly smaller group of pro-Israel counter-protestors who allegedly threw eggs at the crowd.
The chants included "Free Palestine!" and "One, two, three, four, occupation no more!" as ABC 7 reports.
Palestinian supporters say that the violent uprising by Hamas militants comes in response to years of Israeli aggression and the 16-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Sunday's demonstration was organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement and the Arab Resources and Outreach Center, as the Chronicle reports, with the aim of stopping U.S. aid to Israel and ending the blockade.
Supporters of Israel say that the ground and air attack by Hamas was an act of terrorism aimed entirely at innocent civilians. An estimated 600 to 700 people were killed, though the numbers remain preliminary — and Saturday's attack was one of the most significant ever undertaken by Hamas, with comparisons being drawn to 9/11.
Israeli air strikes on Gaza in response to the attacks are estimated to have killed 400 so far, as the Chronicle reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken referred to the attack as terrorism in a statement.
"There is never any justification for terrorism," Blinken said. "We stand in solidarity with the government and people of Israel, and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks."
Sunday's rally and counter-protest in SF ended largely peacefully, with police intervening to try to keep that peace. NBC Bay Area reports that there were no physical altercations between the two sides.
That was not the case everywhere. As the Associated Press reports, a similar rally and counter-protest occurred Sunday in New York City, where "a skirmish broke out between opposing demonstrators near the United Nations compound."
Palestinian Americans also staged rallies outside Israeli consulate buildings in Chicago and Atlanta.
Top image: Historic file photo of pro-Palestinian demonstrators demonstrating against Israel's military offensive against Palestine and Lebanon July 13, 2006 in San Francisco. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)