Over a dozen Jewish activists were arrested Thursday outside of Senator Chuck Schumer's New York office while protesting violence against Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
The Jewish Voice for Peace demonstrators were protesting Schumer's "silence" on the deaths and injuries of Palestinians in the coastal enclave during weeks of demonstrations that have been met with a violent crackdown by the Israeli military.
The demonstrators formed a human chain around the entrance to the office as they sat shiva – a traditional Jewish form of mourning – while holding a sign reading: "Schumer, your silence is shameful. NYC Jews stand with Gaza. Palestinians should be free."
In all, 14 demonstrators were taken into police custody, according to the group's New York chapter.
"We stand with Palestinians and we mourn with Gaza," it said on Facebook.
Since the Gaza rallies began on Mar. 30, at least 41 Palestinians demonstrators — including five children — have been killed by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to Palestinian Health Ministry figures.
Thousands of others have been injured — more than 140 seriously — over the same period, health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.
For the last four weeks, Gazans have been staging mass rallies along the border to demand the “right of return” to their land in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
The rallies are part of a six-week protest that will culminate on May 15. That day will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe".