Thousands of emotionally charged people took over Justin Herman Plaza July 26—some to rally against Israeli military actions against Palestinians living in Gaza, and some in support of Israel.

Palestine supporters demanded an end to the colonial occupation of Palestine, the Gaza blockade, Israeli bombings of the Gaza Strip and the United States’ aid to Israel.

Across from the thousands of people waving Palestinian flags and holding “Free Palestine” signs, stood a smaller group of a few hundred pro-Israeli supporters holding signs of their own reading: “Free Gaza from Hamas,” “Enough Lies about Israel,” and “Enough Anti-Semitism.”

What ignited the rally was the number of Palestinian casualties being reported everyday via various news outlets. According to Al Arabiya News, the number of fatalities had spiked to 1,049, including 6,000 wounded, as of the day of the demonstration.

“What’s happening right now is a genocide in Gaza; it’s a deliberate killing of civilians,” said Hani Jamah, a Palestinian-American dentist from San Jose, who attended the protest. “I have been in a state of shock because … of the number of casualties that are being killed by missiles.”

According to Jamah, 40 of his relatives were killed in an Israeli air strike during fighting.

After the rally in the plaza, an energized and passionate multitude of Palestine supporters marched through Market Street holding banners and chanting “Free Palestine,” while others burned Israeli flags.