By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched down Michigan Avenue on Sunday to codemn what they say is indiscriminate bombing of Gaza by Israel.

Members from the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine also denounced the assaults on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the potential forced displacement and harassment of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah and other neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Israeli police officers last month cut off audio of Muslin prayers at the mosque before a nearby speech by Israel’s president, the New York Times reported. 

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday defended his country’s continuing airstrikes in Gaza, arguing Israel will do “whatever it takes to restore order” in the region and bring an end to rocket attacks by Hamas.

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Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, Palestinian medics said. Despite the heavy death toll and international efforts to broker a cease-fire, Netanyahu signaled the fourth war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers would rage on.

“I think any country has to defend itself. It has a natural right of self-defense,” Netanyahu said in an interview with “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “We’ll do whatever it takes to restore order and quiet and the security of our people and deterrence. We’re trying to degrade Hamas’ terrorist abilities and to degrade their will to do this again.

Hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians are at their most deadly in years, with the most recent outbreak of violence starting in east Jerusalem earlier this month.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reports more than 180 Palestinians have been killed in the clashes, including 52 children, with another 1,200 wounded. Eight Israelis have been killed, including two children. Hamas and other militant groups have fired roughly 2,900 rockets into Israeli territory, and the Israeli military said its air defenses intercepted 1,150 of those rockets.

Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine also demands that the Biden administration condemn Israel’s crimes and force it to end its attacks on the Palestinian people.

While diplomatic efforts are underway to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, with the Biden administration sending an envoy to urge de-escalation, Netanyahu said Israel will not allow the militant group to “just fire rockets and then sit back and enjoy immunity.”

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CBS News contributed to this story

CBS 2 Chicago Staff