Thousands of demonstrators flocked to downtown Chicago Sunday afternoon in support of Palestinians as the conflict between between Israel and Hamas continued to escalate for another day.
The mass protest, which was led by the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine, began with a rally near Michigan Avenue and Ida B. Wells Drive where attendees called for an end to what they called "ethnic cleansing."
Demonstrators chanted sayings like, "Justice is our demand" and "Free free Palestine" as dozens of others waved Palestinian flags.
Last week, protesters gathered in 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.