Hundreds of Jewish peace activists arrested at NYC's Grand Central Terminal

Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Hundreds of mainly Jewish demonstrators demanding a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip were arrested late Friday after disrupting commuter rail and subway traffic New York City's Grand Central Terminal, police said.

The group Jewish Voice for Peace, which has staged similar protests in Brooklyn, N.Y., Washington D.C., and elsewhere around the country this month, claimed responsibility for the sit-in demonstration on the Grand Concourse of the famed train station, which snarled evening rush-hour traffic.

"We're demanding a cease-fire in Gaza. We're taking over the Grand Concourse," the group wrote in a social media post. "We're refusing to allow a genocide be carried out in our name."

The terminal was closed due to the demonstration and travelers on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro-North line were advised to go to the Harlem-125th Street Station for service to points north of the city.

Subway service on four lines was also disrupted, the MTA said.

The New York City Police Department made at least 200 arrests in the process of clearing out the demonstrators, the New York Daily News and WNBC-TV reported.

#ceasefirenow— Sandy Nurse (@SandyforCouncil) October 27, 2023

The protests came as Israel carried out some of its heaviest aerial and naval bombardments yet overnight Friday into Saturday and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant indicated a "new stage" in the war against Hamas had been reached -- a possible indication that a long-anticipated ground incursion into Gaza had begun.

Gaza's Hamas-run Health Ministry said Friday more than 7,300 people have been killed in Israel's retaliatory strike against Palestinian militants following the Oct. 7 assault in which around 1,400 Israelis were killed and more than 200 taken hostage.

The New York protesters wore all-black outfits with the slogans "cease-fire now" and "not in our name" written across their shirts.

"In just two weeks, more than 7,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis were killed," the group said in a statement. "Right now, Israeli warplanes are flattening entire neighborhoods in Gaza. This is what the U.S. government is supporting."