Protests organized by pro-Palestinian demonstrators that disrupted traffic on Wednesday around Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York ended with dozens of arrests.
These two airports are among the busiest in the United States.
The Los Angeles Police Department said that 36 people were detained after the demonstration got out of control.
The police explained in a statement that “the demonstrators threw a security official to the ground, and used construction waste, road signs, tree branches, and concrete blocks to block a road” leading to the airport, “while they attacked unrelated passers-by in their cars.”
The statement stated that most of the detainees were detained on charges of participating in the riot, while at least one was arrested on charges of beating a security official.
Airport police said the entrance to the complex was reopened within about 45 minutes with “no impact on flights,” the Los Angeles City News Service reported.
The New York Port Authority Police Department also announced that 26 people were arrested for engaging in disorderly conduct and obstructing vehicular traffic during a protest along the Van Wyck Expressway inside JFK Airport in Queens.
Police said the road reopened about 20 minutes later.
Local news coverage of the two protests showed demonstrators raising banners bearing messages such as “Free Palestine” to express their opposition to Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip.