MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) — Israeli and Palestinian supporters both gathered for rallies in Times Square before marching East to the United Nations – but not without directing their anger at each other.
Sunday marked day one of rallies in New York City – home to many who are desperately trying to get updates from family and friends in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Omer Graif is a student who has been in the area for only three months from Israel.
“I know my friend is dying – my friend is going to the army and I am stuck here,” said Graif.
Many gathered in solidarity – though on opposite sides of the conflict. A fairly large crowd carrying Palestinian flags organized in Times Square.
“It’s frustrating. There are now rods to explain what it’s like to be here, not be able to help – you feel helpless,” said Sajah Abbelghani.
On Saturday, Governor Kathy Hochul condemned the planned Palestinian rally, calling it ‘morally repugnant.’
Graif said he was saddened by the event.
“Not because I think to be pro-Palestinian is bad – I think it’s ok, but not two days after terrorists killed our friends,” Graif said.
Sunday marked day 2 of intense fighting in Southern Israel.
“Last night I was running in and out and out of my stairway because that’s supposed to be the safest place to take cover from rocket fire,” said journalist Shanna Fuld.
Fuld is from Howard Beach, but has lived overseas for about five years and is the host of the Israel Daily News Podcast. She says everyone is terrified – gangs of terrorists are still out there and are ready to strike.
Fuld says she fully supports the Israeli military action.
“I think the only way to respond is with a full-face frontal, unified response. This is a tough town, the Middle East, where the rules of diplomacy we are used to from the US, don’t go here,” Fuld adds.
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