Israeli and Palestinians violently clash in NYC as protests erupt in US and cops struggle to separate enraged groups

ISRAELI and Palestinian protesters violently clashed in New York City on Tuesday as demonstrations erupted across the US and cops struggled to separate the warring crowds.

Scuffles broke out outside the Israeli consulate in Manhattan yesterday evening as hundreds gathered to protest deadly attacks in Gaza and Tel Aviv that have left at least 55 dead.

Crowds of demonstrators were seen waving the Palestinian flag in support of ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

A group of pro-Israel counter-protesters also descended on the consulate.

Tensions quickly boiled over, with the two feuding groups trading chants and insults, with some of those confrontations resulting in punches being thrown.

Footage posted to social media showed a series of skirmishes breaking out in the middle of the street.

One man was pictured pictured covered in blood after he was struck with a chair during the fierce confrontation.

A small number of people from both sides came together and attempted to have a peaceful dialogue, though their efforts were largely drowned out by screaming, CBS2 reported.

"I just want peace I don’t want there to be violence anymore. I don’t want kids to die. Moms to die, families to die, lose their homes," on Free Palestine protester told NBC-NY.

The New York Police Department said there were no arrests in Tuesday's demonstration.

Elsewhere in the country, demonstrations also took place in Washington DC and Los Angeles, as hostilities between Hamas and Israel violently boiled over across Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.

In DC, large crowds of pro-Palestinian gathered in front of the State Department building, joined by Democratic lawmakers Rashida Tlaib and Andre Carson.

In her address, Tlaib said Israel's "racist" approach against Palestinian civilians in recent days was unacceptable and the Biden administration's support for Israel had turned into an oppression of Palestine.

"Enough," she told the crowd.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, a crowd of pro-Palestine protesters exceeding 100 gathered outside the city's Israeli consulate.

Speakers at the event accused Israel’s government of human rights abuses and oppressive measures.

“You can see Israeli aggression especially in Northern Jerusalem and Gaza,” protester Sami Wassef told the Los Angeles Daily News. “Houses are being confiscated and families thrown out.”

Bloody fighting escalated between Israelis and Palestinians in and around the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Israel carried out hundreds of air strikes in Gaza into the early hours of Wednesday local time, as Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups fired barrages of rockets at Tel Aviv and Beersheba.

At least 49 people have been killed in Gaza since violence escalated on Monday, according to the enclave's health ministry. At least 10 of the casualties were reported to be children.

Six people have been killed in Israel, medical officials said.

The White House on Tuesday condemned Hamas' rocket attacks and said Israel had a legitimate right to defend itself from violence.

However, through his press secretary Jen Psaki, Biden applied pressure to Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, insisting Jerusalem must be a place of "coexistence."

Former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, released a statement insisting that America "will always strongly support Israel's right to defend itself" and laid blame on Biden for the unfolding chaos.

Trump said his administration was known as the “Peace Presidency “because Israel’s adversaries knew that the United States stood strongly with Israel and there would be swift retribution if Israel was attacked.”

“Under Biden, the world is getting more violent and more unstable because Biden’s weakness and lack of support for Israel is leading to new attacks on our allies,” Trump continued.

“America must always stand with Israel and make clear that the Palestinians must end the violence, terror, and rocket attacks, and make clear that the U.S. will always strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Overnight Wednesday, a multi-story residential building in Gaza collapsed and another was heavily damaged after they were repeatedly hit by Israeli air strikes. 

Israel said its warplanes had targeted and killed several of the Islamist group Hamas's intelligence leaders.

Other strikes hit what the military said were rocket launch sites, Hamas offices and the homes of Hamas leaders.

The conflict is the heaviest offensive between Israel and Hamas since their 2014 war in Gaza.

Truce efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations have continued but without progress.

International concern is growing that the conflict may spiral completely out of control.

The violence first erupted on Monday when more than 160 rockets were launched into civilian crowds from Gaza – reaching as far as Jerusalem – while thousands of Israelis were celebrating Jerusalem Day.

From there on, the escalation was rapid.

On Wednesday, Sixteen people were killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

Witnesses and health officials in Gaza said one Israeli airstrike killed three people, including a woman, in a car.

Many Israelis also spent a sleepless night, with sirens wailing in Tel Aviv, heralding several waves of rocket strikes in Israel's heartland.

Israelis ran to shelters or lay flat on pavements in communities more than 45 miles up the coast from Gaza as interceptor missiles streaked into the sky.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said Israeli forces had attacked "many hundreds of targets" and killed senior militants in Gaza and that "all means and options" remained on the table.

"The Israeli military will continue to attack and will bring about complete and long-term quiet," Gantz told reporters.

"Only when we achieve this goal, can we talk about calming things down. At the moment, there is no end-date."

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