26 arrested as pro-Israel, pro-Palestine protesters clash in NYC

▶ Watch Video: Israel-Hamas cease-fire agreement holds so far

More than two dozen people were arrested in New York City on Thursday night after violence broke out between hundreds of pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters. The clashes came as Israel and Hamas militants agreed to a cease-fire, which took effect at 2 a.m. local time Friday. 

The New York Police Department told CBS News an unknown individual threw two commercial fireworks into a crowd in midtown, around the area of the Diamond District, which is associated with the city’s Jewish community. One victim sustained minor injuries, and the NYPD Arson and Explosives Squad is investigating.

No one has been arrested in connection with the firework incident, and the investigation is ongoing.

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 20: Pro Palestinian protesters burn the Israeli flag as they face off with a group of Israel supporters and police in a violent clash in Times Square on May 20, 2021, in New York City. 

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Videos on social media show violence among protesters in Times Square, with many throwing punches and burning flags, as police attempted to make arrests and disperse crowds. A few blocks away, a man was beaten and kicked on the ground, before a mob of people fled the scene to avoid police, CBS New York reported.

The NYPD said there were no injuries to officers and no property damage, the station reports.

Twenty-six people have been arrested so far in connection to the protests, the NYPD said. The charges include obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and criminal possession of a weapon.

At least 26 people have been arrested following violent clash between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters in Times Square on May 20, 2021, in New York City. 

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

On Friday morning, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force said it was investigating a gang assault of a Jewish man in Times Square Thursday night. 

Pro-Palestinian protesters have marched in cities around the U.S. since the conflict began. Earlier this week, thousands of protesters shut down traffic outside of the Israeli Consulate near the United Nations. 

On Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League released preliminary data revealing an increase in both online and real-world incidents of antisemitism in the U.S. since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began. 

“We are tracking acts of harassment, vandalism and violence as well as a torrent of online abuse,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “It’s happening around the world — from London to Los Angeles, from France to Florida, in big cities like New York and in small towns, and across every social media platform.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters wave flags in Times Square, as police attempt to control the violence, on May 20, 2021.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

An analysis of Twitter between May 7 and May 14 showed more than 17,000 tweets that used variations of the phrase, “Hitler was right.” The ADL said it received 193 reports of possible antisemitic incidence in the week after the conflict began, up from 131 the previous week. 

The cease-fire comes after 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas that led to the death of over 240 Palestinians, including at least 65 children, and 12 Israelis, including two children. It marked the worst fighting in the region in decades. 

The Egyptian-brokered truce appeared to be holding Friday afternoon. But CBS News correspondent Imtiaz Tyab said it was a tense peace as the two sides both claimed to have achieved their objectives during the violence — and both warned that they were poised to go back on the attack if they felt betrayed.

The violent clash in Times Square on May 20, 2021, came as Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire. 

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

World leaders hailed the cease-fire, but the last major conflict between Israel and Gaza, in 2014, saw nine truce agreements fall apart. There is concern that this new peace deal could prove just as fragile, with new clashes erupting between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police outside the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. 

After the announcement of the cease-fire, President Joe Biden said Israelis and Palestinians “equally have the right to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy.” Mr. Biden said the U.S. will continue to support Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which blocked thousands of rockets during the conflict.

Connect With Us Listen To Us On