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A large contingent of Israel supporters turned out Thursday night to counter the pro-Palestinian demonstrators who’ve been assembling at Blackstone and Nees avenues in Fresno.

While there were tense moments at the busy intersection, police kept the situation under control and no arrests were made.

(To see Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld and a Palestinian supporter offer differing perspectives, click on the video above.) 

Both sides were trying to bring attention to the furious fighting between Israel and Hamas. They launched missiles against each for 11 days before a truce negotiated by Egypt was announced Thursday.

Palestinian supporters gather across the street from the pro-Israel demonstrators on Thursday, May 21, 2021. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Councilman Organized ‘Support Israel Rally’

Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld organized the pro-Israel attendees.

“They have every right to defend themselves,” Bredefeld said of Israel. “So, we’re standing here with our greatest ally in the Middle East, which is Israel,” Bredefeld said.

“You want to talk peace? You sit down at a table and discuss peace.”

A Palestinian supporter who identified himself as “Mike” said that Israel was the aggressor. The goal of the demonstrations, he said, is to encourage people to seek out alternative news sources to learn the truth about the war in Gaza.

Too often, Mike said, the mainstream media “portray only us as the terrorists, and us doing the bombing. … We were the ones bombed.”

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