Several hundred people took to the streets in the Westwood area to demonstrate their support of Palestinians amid the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
The Saturday demonstration was dubbed “Nakba 73: Resistance Until Liberation” and took place on Wilshire Boulevard at the Federal Building.
Organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement, it was one of several events around the United States Saturday on the sixth day of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians along the Gaza strip, with at least 26 deaths reported.
Nakba commemorates the date in 1948 when “over half of the Palestinian population was displaced from their homelands” for the establishment of Israel, organizers said.
“We commemorate the loss experienced by Palestinians in 1948 when hundreds of thousands of our people were forced into exile and saw their homes and villages stolen or destroyed by Zionist militias,” members of the Movement said in a statement released Saturday. “To this day, colonization and dispossession remain ongoing processes, where Palestinians continue to endure land theft and encroachments on their basic rights.”
The demonstrators chanted and held signs saying “Free Palestine” and “End All U.S. Aid to Israel.”
Police reported no issues at the protest as of 2:15 p.m., according to Officer Norma Eisenman of the Los Angeles Police Department, but traffic was heavily affected in the area.
Some pro-Israel counter protesters also gathered nearby, but police kept the two groups separated.
“The area of Wilshire Blvd near the 405 (freeway) is very congested due to large protest activity currently underway. Avoid the area if possible for the next few hours due to multiple street closures,” the LAPD tweeted at 2:24 p.m.
The deadliest fighting in recent years in Israel continued Saturday, with Israel launching airstrikes on Gaza and Hamas retaliating with missiles launched toward Tel Aviv.
An Israeli airstrike on Saturday destroyed a building that houses offices for Al Jazeera and The Associated Press, among other media outlets.