Pro-Palestinian protesters gather outside Israeli consulate in Los Angeles – Daily News

  • Noelle Bellil, 60, of Hawthorne, leads a song as Al-Awda, the Coalition for the Right of Return to Palestine, stages a protest at the Israel Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday May 11. 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Dali Alqaza, 7, from Anaheim, waves a Palestinian flag above his cousin’s car during a protest at the Israel Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday 11 May 2021 (photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israel Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Gee Jimzo, from Whittier, waves a Palestinian flag above his car on Wilshire Boulevard during a protest at the Israel Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 ( photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

  • Al-Awda, the Palestinian Coalition for the Right of Return, is holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to support the rights of Palestinians in their conflict with Israel on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

More than 100 people gathered for a pro-Palestinian rally at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Granville Avenue, outside the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 11, as bloody fighting escalated between Israelis and Palestinians in and around the Gaza Strip.

Battles between Israel and Hamas, an Islamist political organization and militant group, have intensified in recent weeks, sparked largely by disputes over holy sites in Jerusalem and allegations of discriminatory policies by the Israeli government towards Palestinians who live there.

In Gaza, at least 30 Palestinians, including 10 children, were killed Tuesday evening and 203 others were injured, health officials said.

In Israel, three people were killed in strikes on Tel Aviv and the resort town of Ashkelon, and at least 100 were injured, medical officials said.

The clashes have spurred diplomatic efforts around the world, including from representatives of Qatar, Egypt, the United States and the United Nations, who are working to end the deadly clashes. President Joe Biden has ordered US officials to engage the Israeli and Palestinian leadership in talks to ease tensions.

Animosity between Israelis and Palestinians dates back decades to the post-WWII era, when Palestinians were displaced to make room for Jewish refugees after the Holocaust. Many Palestinians now want the right of return – the right of internally displaced people and their descendants to return to the land that once belonged to them. Both sides argue that the region is their rightful homeland.

During Tuesday’s protest in Los Angeles, speakers accused the Israeli government of human rights violations and oppressive measures. “You can see the Israeli aggression especially in northern Jerusalem and Gaza,” said Sami Wassef, who attended the protest and waved a Palestinian flag. “Houses are confiscated and families evicted.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his country’s actions, saying they came in response to violence from Hamas and other Islamic Jihad activists. The groups “have paid, and I tell you here, will pay a heavy price for their aggression,” Netanyahu said.

According to Professor Dov Waxman, director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the high rate of civilian casualties appears unintentional on the part of Israelis in the violence. Waxman said that due to the relative size of the IDF compared to Hamas forces, Hamas does not engage with the military directly, so Israel must attack targets wherever they are – and they are usually found in centers populated by civilians.

“It allows Hamas to say ‘Oh look, Israel is attacking the Palestinians’, but Israel is not talking about civilians,” Waxman said. “It targets Hamas political leaders, Hamas facilities, but often civilians are killed.”

Waxman noted, however, that this raises the question of whether Israel could do a better job of avoiding such civilian casualties.

The Associated Press, Bloomberg News, and The New York Times contributed to this report.


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