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Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine Rallies Held In Baltimore Wednesday

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Tensions are sparking right here in Baltimore. In light of the violence in the Middle East, two rallies took place Wednesday night at Penn Station, where protesters on both sides spilled into the streets.

Rick Ritter has more.

Hundreds packed the streets, chanting, holding flags and signs. One group in support of Gaza; the other in support of Israel. Just minutes in, each side shouted at the other, forcing police to keep a close eye.

Side by side, two groups---separated by just 10 yards of fencing---rallied against what one another believes in.

"We are here to support Israel," said Yaria Dupon.

"Israel can't continue to act completely unilaterally," said Ryan Harvey.

Demonstrators from a wide range of religious communities are on hand in support of the people of Gaza, demanding an immediate end to what they call "Israeli aggression."

"There are never any repercussions for their actions and any other country would be treated differently," Harvey said.

Supporters say it's important for people to know not all Jews support the Israeli government.

"We believe that the way Israel has conducted itself in the past few decades is unnecessary," Harvey said.

On the other side---beaming with pride, busloads of those backing Israel made their way through the streets of Baltimore.

"We need to show the world the truth," said Yario Dupon.

They say innocent people dying are all because of Hamas.

"If you're against terrorism, you support Israel," said Miriam Goliger.

It only took minutes for tensions to rise among both groups with each one shouting at the other, drawing in a strong police presence.

"It makes me sad," said Goliger. "I think they're misguided."

"Israel has been using military force for decades and obviously it hasn't fixed the situation," Harvey said.

Many say there doesn't appear to be an end in sight, but still they're holding on to hope.

"This just can't go on like this," Harvey said.

"If both parties believe in peace, it will happen," said Rabbi Michael Meyerstein, Baltimore Board of Rabbis.

Police say even though tensions were high, there were no arrests or major incidents.

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