Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Ishmael Daro
Pro-Hamas demonstration in Brooklyn, New York on October 28, 2023

Pro-Hamas demonstrators blocked major arteries leading to international airports in New York City and Los Angeles on Wednesday morning, infuriating travelers who were rushing to board flights home after the holiday weekend.

In New York, the protesters blocked the Van Wyck Expressway and the service road to JFK International Airport, stopping in front of the Israeli flag flying near Terminal 4, where travelers catch flights to and from Israel.


Some of the protesters opened banners proclaiming “Right to return home” and “Divest from genocide.” At least 40 people locked arms in a chain across the highway, blocking traffic and waving Palestinian Authority flags while chanting “From the river to the sea” — the genocidal call for the annihilation of the State of Israel, and “Free, free Palestine.”

Port Authority Police demanded the group leave the roadway; eventually, with traffic backed up and outraged drivers yelling, they moved in to arrest the chanting protesters. At least 26 demonstrators were arrested, all of whom received desk appearance tickets and then were released, police sources told the New York Post.

But in the meantime, frantic travelers were forced to shlep their luggage by foot in the rain to get to their terminals. In Los Angeles, police were far less tolerant.

A similar group blocked the road to LAX International Airport on Wednesday morning as well, waving signs reading “Ceasefire not enough. Land back! Free Palestine.”

But the protesters at LAX were not as brazen as those in New York: when LAPD officers arrived, the demonstrators scurried away, fleeing in various directions.

At least a dozen of those who were too slow were arrested and taken into custody, but by the end of the incident, 35 people were arrested for rioting. One was charged with battery for assaulting a police officer, according to a spokesperson for Los Angeles police.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.