Hundreds of people supporting Israelis and Palestinians descended on Copley Square this afternoon, beating drums, delivering rival chants, and occasionally screaming at each other.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators carrying Palestinian flags, some with bullhorns, chanted "Free Palestine" in response to Israel's actions in Gaza, while pro-Israeli protesters in a counter-rally chanted "Free Gaza from Hamas." Police stood between the groups.
At least 630 Palestinians and 29 Israelis — 27 soldiers and two civilians — have been killed in more than two weeks of armed conflict.
The Boston chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace posted on its website a Facebook invitation to a rally starting at 5:30 p.m. in Copley Square calling for Israel to "end the siege of Gaza." In response, a counter-rally invitation was posted to Facebook calling on participants to "Stand against terror" and condemn the actions of Hamas in the conflict.
Images from Boston showed large crowds gathered in Copley Square and on Boylston Street as part of the demonstrations.
Below are images and reports from the scene:
Large clash of protesters on Copley Square now. Pro Israelis chanting, "Free Gaza from Hamas." pic.twitter.com/RMYevUI1Ov— David Abel (@davabel) July 22, 2014
Pro Palestinians on Copley Square chanting, "Free Palestine." pic.twitter.com/b2VKf1qsU6— David Abel (@davabel) July 22, 2014
Huge pro-Palestine protest in Boston that fills all of Copley Square and stretches down Boylston Street pic.twitter.com/NII79Z147V— Mary Anne Marsh (@maryannemarsh) July 22, 2014
Pro Palestinian demonstrators marching from Copley Square to the State House#wcvb pic.twitter.com/y2mnmL4RHx— Jorge Quiroga (@JorgeWCVB) July 22, 2014
At least 100 people showing up across from Copley every 10 minutes for rally. 'Free Palestine' side has about double, maybe 400. #Boston— Chris Faraone (@Fara1) July 22, 2014