Three people were cuffed in Midtown Sunday amidst large scale protests following the terrorist attacks in Israel, police said.
While the exact number of demonstrators taken into custody had yet to be confirmed as of Sunday evening, police have now reported that despite protesters numbering in the thousands, only three individuals were arrested.
The arrests came after those supporting both Israel and Palestine mobilized in the heart of the Big Apple with the two groups intending to come to blows outside the Israeli consulate that afternoon. However, the NYPD looked to keep the two factions separated.
Cops set up barricades alongside the sidewalks surrounding 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue and even shut down traffic with a legion of uniformed officers striving to prevent any potential bloodshed. While this approach largely paid off for authorities, a small number of out-of-control protesters managed to break through the barricades.
According to sources familiar with the incident, several pro-Palestine supporters got a hold of an Israeli flag and began stomping on it. Enraged, an Israeli protester jumped the barricade, leading to both parties grabbing one another. Police report that three men were cuffed as a result. The men were issued summonses for disorderly behavior and were subsequently released.
Tensions are expected to remain high in the coming days as the death toll continues to rise in both Israel and Gaza.