Tensions flared outside City Hall Monday as Israeli and Gaza supporters squared off over the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
A who's who of elected officials, including Rep. Jerrold Nadler,Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and City Councilman Mark Levine, stood at the steps of City Hall declaring their support for Israel. Dozens of protesters who lined up outside City Hall's gates, however, drowned out the news conference.
The politicians blamed Hamas for firing rockets into Israel and asserted that the country had a right to defend itself. Rep. Charles Rangel said that too many innocent Palestinians were caught in the crossfire, but maintained that Israel could not let the recent string of attacks go without a response.
"I'm confident the people are protesting because innocent Palestinians have been killed," he said. "They should protest Hamas."
Anwaar Elwahwah, 17, of Brooklyn, who was one of the protesters, said the "one-sided" show of support was unfair.
"We just want peace. We want freedom," she said.