WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Several hundred people supporting Palestinians protested against Israel in West Palm Beach on Sunday
It’s one of a few protests in Florida on Sunday backing Palestinians' plight and efforts for a cease-fire.
The protests on Okeechobee Boulevard were mostly peaceful as people were chanting pro-Palestinian slogans while waving flags and signs for a few hours. Hawazin Wright, 43, was carrying a 10- to 12-inch Egyptian-style knife when he jumped into traffic on westbound Okeechobee Boulevard, police spokesman Mike Jachles said. He is facing charges of resisting arrest without violence, carrying a concealed weapon and impeding traffic by a pedestrian.
Police did have to block off part of Okeechobee for a short time when they mixed with counter-protesters on the other side of the street.
Those interactions were rare, but did occur.
Organizers are starting “closing speeches” at todays demonstration. I assume that means this protest will end soon. pic.twitter.com/EQzm87vz73— Ethan Stein (@EthanSteinTV) November 19, 2023
Two Pro-Palestinian groups from Broward County, Jewish Voices for Peace and Al Awda, who want to see a Palestinian state, organized Sunday’s event, according to a spokesman.
He said their goal is to inform people in our area about the experience of Palestinians during Israel’s war against a terrorist organization called Hamas.
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Most people we spoke with came to show support for the humanitarian cause.
We also saw some organizers wearing masks. They say they wear the masks because they’re scared of the consequences for showing their support.
Counter-protesters believe slogans like From the River to the Sea are examples of antisensitism because they call for the elimination of Israel. The counter-protesters want the hostages removed.
At the scene, a 33-year-old woman was going the wrong way on Okeechobee Road and was cited for driving while intoxicated, resisting arrest without violence, battery on a police officer, criminal failure to obey a lawful order, improper lane change, police said. Police said they were lucky they had an observant officer, who stopped on the car on foot from possibly running into lots of people.