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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - NEW YORK: Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked several New York City bridges and a tunnel on Monday to demand an immediate cease-fire in the three-month-old Israel-Hamas conflict.
Dozens of demonstrators sat in the roadway and chanted slogans while holding up traffic on the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges across the East River, as well as at the Holland Tunnel connecting New York City with New Jersey across the Hudson River, local media reported.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the Holland Tunnel, said on its website that the lanes to New Jersey were closed “due to police activity.”
Video posted on social media showed protesters chanting: “NYPD, KKK, IDF they’re all the same,” referring to the New York Police Department, Ku Klux Klan and the Israel Defense Forces.
Protesters at the Holland Tunnel carried banners that said “Lift the siege on Gaza,” “Cease-fire Now” and “End the occupation.”
The protests were organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, the Palestinian Youth Movement and the New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, among other groups, they said on X, formerly called Twitter.
“The siege on Gaza needs to end and I’m ready to put my body on the line to end it,” said one protester as she was led away by a police officer with her hands behind her back, video showed.
Israel’s campaign in Hamas-run Gaza has so far killed more than 23,000 Palestinians, local health officials say, while Israel says Hamas holds more than 100 hostages of 240 seized during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people.
Israel accuses Hamas of operating among civilians and has released videos and photos it says support the claim. Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, denies the accusation.
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