Protesters supporting Israel and the Palestinians came out to demonstrate in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities on Tuesday as the violence escalated between the two sides overseas.
Groups on each side clashed in New York City in front of the Israeli consulate where police officers struggled to keep aggressive demonstrators from attacking each other. Physical fights broke out among some of the activists, videos on social media show.
"My mother lives on the edge of Gaza," pro-Israeli protester Sophie Sassoon told WCBS-TV in New York. "She’s in a shelter as we speak … This is war. I will not sit and watch the only democracy in the Middle East be ripped apart."
A larger group of pro-Palestinian marchers walked through the streets of Manhattan holding up signs and condemning Israel’s actions.
More than 100 protesters holding Palestinian flags and signs that read "Free Palestine" gathered in front of the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles Tuesday, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
"You can see Israeli aggression especially in Northern Jerusalem and Gaza," attendee Sami Wassef told the outlet. "Houses are being confiscated and families thrown out."
In Washington, D.C. a large group of pro-Palestinian marchers chanted "Palestine will be free!" and "Free, free Palestine!"
U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and André Carson, D-Ind., joined the protesters outside of the State Department.
"Today, I was honored to join @RepRashida and a diverse crowd of people at the State Department to demand justice for Palestinians," Carson tweeted after they both spoke at the protest. "Americans of all backgrounds have a moral obligation to protect human rights wherever they are threatened — in #SheikhJarrah, and around the world!"
Israeli supporters say that the country has the right to defend itself against Hamas' rocket attacks.
"The United States must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people and government of Israel," Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas RepubIican, posted on Twitter. "Will work with my colleagues to ensure they have the support they need as they defend their sovereignty and respond to these attacks."
There were no reports of violence in Los Angeles or Washington, D.C.
Dozens have been killed in attacks between Hamas and Israel in recent days in the most intense fighting since 2014.
The death toll included at least 35 Palestinians and five Israelis, Reuters reported. Three Israeli women and a child were among the dead. Gaza’s health ministry said at least 10 of the dead were children.
Tensions had escalated between the two sides ahead of a court hearing about Israeli settlements that could force Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem to be evicted from their homes. The hearing has been postponed, according to Reuters.
Fox News' Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.