Last night, protestors gathered to protest both Israel and Hamas outside the Israeli Consulate in Midtown East. The AP reports the pro-Palestine group "held Palestinian flags and chanted 'Free Palestine,' and one demonstrator said that Israel is "punishing an entire population for the actions of a few." Across the street, a smaller pro-Israel group had gathered (with signs like "Israel must defend itself").
Earlier in the day, Israeli consul general Asaf Shariv, who had been meeting with Mayor Bloomberg, told reporters, "We want to defend our citizens. If Hamas would stop shooting, we don't need to go inside. We have a variety of options. One of the options is going on the ground." And the Mayor added, "Israel has a right and obligation to defend itself against deadly attack. I can only think what would happen in this country if somebody was lobbing missiles onto our shores or across the border. We would respond as aggressively and vigorously as Israel has done."
At this point, Israel has just rejected a proposed cease-fire agreement; a foreign ministry spokesman said, "It lacks a plan to enforce the ceasefire, to make sure Hamas won't shoot rockets into Israel anymore, and stop the smuggling of weapons." The Washington Post reports that at least 370 Palestinians and 4 Israelis have been killed since the weekend in the violence.