Pro-Palestinian protesters have been out on the streets of Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and other US cities to demand an end to Israeli air strikes over the Gaza Strip.

Thousands of people shut down traffic on a major thoroughfare in west Los Angeles as they marched two miles from outside the federal building to the Israeli consulate. The protesters waved signs that read “Free Palestine” and shouted “Long live intifada”, or uprising.

A protest that started in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, New York, which has a large Arabic-speaking community, continued through the streets for several hours on Saturday afternoon.

Pro-Palestine protesters
Protesters supporting Palestine block traffic on Interstate 278 in New York (Kevin Hagen/AP)

Some protesters climbed up the poles of street lights to wave flags while others set off fireworks. As the sun set, some protesters walked on to the Interstate 278, shutting down traffic in at least one direction.

Bella Hadid, a well-known Palestinian-American model, participated in the Brooklyn protest.

The marches coincided with Nakba Day, which commemorates the 1948 displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians amid Israel’s declaration of independence.

Pro-Palestine protesters
Protests took place in New York, Los Angeles and Washington (Kevin Hagen/AP)

In Atlanta, hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, including grandparents, teenagers and mothers and fathers with youngsters in tow, assembled to wave signs and chant slogans.

One sign read “We can’t breathe since 1948” – a nod to the racial injustice and police brutality protests in the US during the past year in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody.

In San Francisco, a raucous crowd banged drums and yelled “Palestine will be free” as they marched across the Mission district to Dolores Park.

A similar scene played out in Boston as protesters walked a short distance from Copley Square to the Israeli consulate for New England, blocking traffic.

Pro-Palestine protesters
Protesters were armed with placards and Palestinian flags (Ringo HW Chiu/AP)

Protesters unfurled a banner in the colours of the Palestinian flag with the words “Free Palestine” while standing on top of the awning of the building where the consulate is located.

In Washington thousands of protesters streamed from the Washington Monument to the National Archives, while in Philadelphia, demonstrators filled Rittenhouse Square to decry US support for Israel.

At a protest in Pittsburgh, one speaker called on politicians to put restrictions on how Israel can spend aid from the United States.