Gatherings to show solidarity with Palestinians took place in cities including New York, Dallas, San Diego, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, Washington, Montreal, Portland, Dearborn.
Tens of thousands of people from all walks of life joined rallies in cities across North America, calling for an end to Israel's brutal attack on innocent civilians in Gaza and across Palestine.
Gatherings to show solidarity with Palestinians took place on Saturday in cities including New York, Dallas, San Diego, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, Washington, Montreal, Portland, Dearborn.
Brooklyn, New York
About 2,000 people turned out in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, chanting "Free, free Palestine" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."
They waved Palestinian flags and held placards that read "End Israeli Apartheid" and "Freedom for Gaza."
Many protesters wore black and white, and red and white, keffiyeh scarves, while drivers sounded car horns and motorcyclists revved their engines as the sun beat down.
Many Jewish people attended, carrying placards that said "Not in my name" and "Solidarity with Palestine", as the protesters took over a street in the area which has a large Arab population.
19:12 EST , Toronto Ontario Canada !!— Mohamad Jayyusi (@JayyusiMohamad) May 15, 2021
Live now from the mass protest in Toronto , Nathan Phillips Square. People from all backgrounds and ethnicities have gathered to voice their solidarity with Palestine !!! #GazaUnderAttack#SaveSheikhJarrah pic.twitter.com/eYcBOyQLPf
A few dozen police officers looked on at the peaceful protest, dubbed "Defend Palestine."
"I'm here because I want a Palestinian life to equal an Israeli life and today it doesn't," said 35-year-old Emraan Khan, a corporate strategist from Manhattan, as he waved a Palestinian flag.
"When you have a nuclear-armed state and another state of villagers with rocks it is clear who is to blame," he added.
Alison Zambrano, a 20-year-old student, travelled from neighboring Connecticut for the demo.
"Palestinians have the right to live freely and children in Gaza should not be being killed," she told AFP.
Wallah I saw everyone I haven’t seen since before the pandemic at the Dearborn rally today FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA PALESTINE WILL BE FREE pic.twitter.com/0HnXQepp9j— forced convalescence (@inkalypse) May 15, 2021
Mashhour Ahmad, a 73-year-old Palestinian who has lived in New York for 50 years, said "don't blame the victim for the aggression."
"I'm telling Mr. Biden and his cabinet to stop supporting the killing. Support the victims, stop the oppression.
"The violence committed by the Israeli army recently is genocide," he added, raising a poster above his head that said "Free Palestine, End the occupation."
FROM WASHINGTON FREE FREE PALESTINE pic.twitter.com/YUBPFuCXUo— Laura Albast (@Lau_Bast) May 15, 2021
President Joe Biden spoke separately Saturday with his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, expressing his "grave concern" over six days of violence that has left scores dead or wounded.
He expressed Washington's "strong commitment to a negotiated two-state solution as the best path to reach a just and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the White House said.
The protests were held on the anniversary of Nakba Day, or "catastrophe," that saw hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced during Israel's creation in 1948.
Boston went hard for Palestine today ✊🏿 We won't stop until Palestine is free 🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/sDAsOjPGHV— Khury PS (@kpYES) May 16, 2021
Throngs of people gathered in Copley Square in Boston, while a few hundred rallied on the Washington Monument grounds in the US capital.
Several thousand demonstrated in Montreal, calling for "the liberation of Palestine."
Thousands of demonstrators chanting “Free, Free Palestine” at Palestinian protest against violence in Israel in downtown Montreal pic.twitter.com/aJkquV6KdA— Rene Bruemmer (@ReneBruemmer) May 15, 2021
Protesters also denounced "war crimes" committed by Israel in Gaza and carried placards accusing Israel of violating international law during the protest in the center of the Canadian city.
Earlier, a caravan of cars sounded their horns and drove with Palestinian flags blowing in the wind as they protested outside the Israeli consulate in the western part of Montreal.
A protester was arrested for breaking a window, a police spokesperson said, but otherwise the demonstration was peaceful.