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In Times Square, 500 protest against Israel

About 500 people gathered in Times Square Sunday afternoon to protest the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the deaths of Palestinians.

A counter-demonstration of about 50 people formed to the south, on Seventh Avenue, to condemn the firing of rockets by Hamas toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Gaza militants have fired more than 800 rockets at Israel in recent days, more than 300 of which were intercepted by Israel's defense system, according to news reports. The attacks killed three Israelis and wounded another 68 people in the Jewish state.

Israel's offensive, which began on Wednesday, has killed at least 65 Palestinians, including 15 children, and injured 560 people.

The conflict is stirring loyalties among New Yorkers.

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, a Hasidic rabbi from Monsey who participated in the anti-Zionist demonstration, said his religious community -- Neturei Karta International -- sympathized with the Palestinians and was "humiliated by what is being done in our name."

"We cry with them," he said of the Palestinians.

Andrea Revive, 23, of the Upper West Side, who was part of the pro-Israel demonstration, accused the protesters in Weiss' group of "supporting a terrorist organization [Hamas] that shoots hundreds of rockets each day at our people."

"Now that Israel is defending itself, they're claiming they're victims," she said.

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