Thousands of Palestinian Supporters Protest in Chicago

Saturday's protest is one of many to be held in Chicago over the last week

Thousands of Palestinian supporters gathered along Michigan Avenue Saturday to call for an end to the violence as fighting between Gaza and Israel continued Saturday.

Police estimate bout 8,000 demonstrators marched to Chicago's Federal Plaza calling for "peace with justice."

"My message is to stop the killing of Palestinians and to end the occupation," said Deena Kishawi, whose family is from Gaza.

Kishawi is attending college in Chicago, but said the crisis became even more personal for her after her cousin was killed in the conflict.

"My cousin was not a military person," she said. "He was a civilian and he died from an attack by Israel."

The protest comes as news that an attempted truce was rejected by Hamas officials Saturday.

Hamas militants fired three more rockets into Israel from Gaza Saturday, Israel's military said, after a Hamas official said the group rejected an Israeli proposal to extend a cease-fire by four more hours, NBC News reported.

The Palestinian death toll rose above 1,047, as 147 bodies were pulled from the rubble Saturday, Palestinian health official Asraf al-Kidra said. Israel has lost 40 soldiers and two civilians.

Among the Saturday protesters was Lynn Pollack, with the Jewish Voice for Peace, who said she is "horrified" by the violence taking place.

"I call on my fellow Jewish-Americans to stand up against what is happening and say you don't want it in your name," she said.

Saturday's protest is one of many to be held in Chicago over the last week.

A pro-Israel rally Tuesday turned into a face-off with Palestinian supporters.

About 500 demonstrators gathered in front of the office of the Consulate General of Israel, at 500 W. Madison St., in a call for peace. That country's military forces since July 8 have been fighting Hamas militants.

Across the street, about 100 people gathered to support the Palestinian people. Police kept the crowds separate but said one arrest was made.

The Palestinians say Israel is randomly deploying a wide array of modern weaponry against Gaza's 1.7 million people, inflicting a heavy civilian death toll and destroying large amounts of property there.

"We're not anti-Israel. We're not pro-Hamas. But we're pro-saving these children," said Sohni Singh, who stood with the rally organized by the Coalition for Justice in Palestine.

The U.S., Israel and the European Union all consider Hamas a terrorist organization. The United Nations does not.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday ordered all U.S. airline carriers to halt flights in and out of Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport because of a Hamas rocket attack nearby.

Israel and the U.S. back an unconditional cease-fire proposal that has been offered by Egypt, which would be followed by talks on a possible new border arrangement for Gaza. Israel and Egypt have severely restricted movement in and out of Gaza since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

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