Protesters are expected to gather and march in The Loop Sunday afternoon as tensions continue to escalate between Israel and Palestinians.
The march and rally were organized by the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine. The group is pushing for action to be taken against Israel in connection with the escalating conflict, including an Israeli plan to remove Palestinians from their homes.
The protest, which the group says is meant to condemn the recent violence happening along the Gaza Strip, will be at Michigan Avenue and Ida B. Wells Drive at 1 p.m., according to a Facebook post.
Hundreds have responded to the social media event, saying that they're either going or "interested." Organizers said, however, that they expect close to 1,000 people at the rally.
Last week, protesters gathered in downtown Chicago for a similar rally, then marched through the city to the Israeli consulate, where they held a lengthy rally to call attention to the growing conflict that has seen at least 60 Palestinians die and more than 1,000 rockets launched by Hamas toward Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv.
Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, Palestinian medics said. Despite the heavy death toll and international efforts to broker a cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fourth war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers would rage on.
In a televised address, Netanyahu said Sunday evening the attacks were continuing at “full-force” and will “take time.“ Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” from the Hamas militant group, he said, flanked by his defense minister and political rival, Benny Gantz, in a show of unity.
The Israeli air assault early Sunday was the deadliest single attack since heavy fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas nearly a week ago, marking the worst fighting in the region in the last seven years.
At least 188 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including 55 children and 33 women, with 1,230 people wounded. Eight people in Israel have been killed, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier.
Supporters of Israel point out that Israel’s air strikes have been targeting Hamas military installations in Gaza, and are being launched in retaliation against the rocket attacks launched against Israeli cities, including one that struck a bus and injured four people.
Aviv Ezra, the Israeli counsel general for the Midwestern United States, says that the U.S. has a key role to play.
“We don’t need boots on the ground from America. We need political support,” he said. “There is no process at negotiation that could be with a partner like Hamas, that in its charter vows to annihilate my country.”
President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, saying that Israel “has a right to defend itself” from the rocket attacks launched by Hamas.