Thousands of people gather in New York City to show their support for Israel and its fight against Hamas. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Thousands of people gathered in New York City on Monday (July 28) to show their support for Israel and its right to defend itself against Hamas.
The huge crowd was large enough to fill an entire city block near the United Nations.
While some people danced, many waved Israel's flag and the U.S. flag. Others held signs reading "We are all Israel" and "Israel forever".
Politicians and religious leaders rallied the crowd and called for a show of support for Israel during its conflict with Hamas that intensified nearly three weeks ago.
Pointing to the United Nations, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer from New York said "We must send a message from one corner of this globe to the other and to that building over there (United Nations), that you will not have peace as long as Hamas has power. Hamas is a terrorist organization sworn to Israel's destruction who believes it has a moral right to start war at any occasion. We are standing up for fairness. We are standing up for no double standards. We are standing up for peace in the Middle East."
Earlier on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a protracted war in Gaza, saying any solution to the crisis would need to see Hamas stripped of its weapons. Netanyahu added that Israeli troops would not leave Gaza until they had destroyed Hamas's tunnel network.
Some 1,060 Gazans, most of them civilians, have died in the conflagration. Israel has lost 48 soldiers and another three civilians have been killed by Palestinian shelling.
Lee, holding her five month old son, Ryan said, "I just feel that it's Israel's right to defend itself. And they (Hamas) are putting civilians in the way of all the... protecting the rockets that they want to shoot at Israel and that is a terrible thing."
Foreign pressure has been building on Netanyahu to muzzle his forces, with both U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.N. Security Council urging an immediate ceasefire that would allow relief to reach Gaza's 1.8 million Palestinians, followed by negotiations on a more durable cessation of hostilities.
Israel wants guarantees Hamas will be stripped of its tunnels and rocket stocks. It worries the Palestinian Islamists will parlay the truce talks mediated by their friends in Qatar and Turkey into an easing of an Israeli-Egypt blockade on Gaza.
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