A picture taken from Rafah on January 6, 2024 shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. AFP

NEW YORK - New Yorkers encountered delays and extreme congestion Monday morning as hundreds of Pro-Palestine protesters blocked several of New York City bridges and a tunnel to demand an immediate ceasefire on the three-month-old Israel-Hamas war.

Protesters sat at the entrances of the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridge across the East River, and the Holland Tunnel which connects New York City and New Jersey. Though no violence erupted, 325 demonstrators were arrested and all locations were quickly cleared out, a police department spokesperson said.

"The siege on Gaza needs to end and I'm ready to put my body on the line to end it," said one protester as she was taken away by a police officer with her hands behind her back.

The protests were organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, the Palestinian Youth Movement and the New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, among other advocacy groups, Reuters reported.

Some demonstrators held Palestinian flags and banners demanding to "lift the siege on Gaza" and "end the occupation" as they took the bridges' entrance. Others linked arms and redirected cars away from the outbound ramp.

In response to the demonstrations, Mayor Eric Adams recognizes citizens' right to protest, yet he condemns the blocking of bridges and the disruption of daily life.

"The goal is to peacefully protest without doing major disruption to the city," Adams said. "Some people are just driving to and from, across our bridges to go to their place of employment, some of them are dealing with some real emergency-type issues."

The protest comes in response to the heightened war in the Middle East. Israel's campaign in Hamas-run Gaza has killed more than 23,000 Palestinians, local health officials say, while Israel says Hamas holds more than 100 hostages of 240 seized during its Oct. 7 attacks on Israel.

Three-months after the initial attack, the war seems to have no easy way out. In fact, political risk consultants at Eurasia Group predict 2024 to be a heightened year of violence in Gaza and the Middle East.

In the States, as President Biden embarks on his re-election campaign, some constituents keep demanding a ceasefire.

"I've been quietly working, quietly working with the Israeli government to get them to reduce and significantly get out of Gaza," Biden said during a speech in South Carolina.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently in Israel, mainly to discuss post-war plans for Gaza. He said he had promises of four Arab nations and Turkey to help rebuild the enclave after the war, but they also want an end to the fighting and concrete steps towards a Palestinian state, something Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said wouldn't allow.

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