Tensions rise during clashing rallies in Skokie

SKOKIE, Ill. — Tensions came to a boil in Skokie on Sunday afternoon after pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel groups held rallies at the same time.

The ensuing chaos from the events left three people, including a CPD officer with minor injuries after they were pepper sprayed by someone in the crowd.

A solidarity with Israel event was getting underway at the Ateres Ayala event space in Skokie and those in attendance told WGN-TV News that a counter-rally was then organized for the same time, in the same area by Palestinian supporters.

According to Skokie police, the NIPAS Mobile Field Force and Cook County Sheriff’s Police were called in to assist in planning for the event.

Police say while officers were on the scene, a crowd of about 200 counter-protestors formed outside of the solidarity with Israel event.

Skokie police say during the protest, several disturbances broke out, resulting in a Chicago police officer and two citizens sustaining minor injuries after being pepper sprayed amid the commotion.

Eventgoesrs inside of Ateres Ayala told WGN-TV News that an announcement was made during the rally warning those in attendance not to leave as tensions were rising outside.

A spokesperson for the pro-Palestinian rally told WGN-TV News that their group was peaceful and wrapping up for the evening when they were accosted by Israeli supporters.

The spokesperson said he witnessed pepper spray being deployed by someone in the crowd, which hit the Chiacgo police officer. The spokesperson also said that he watched as someone fired shots in the air, but police have not confirmed if any shots were fired.

According to Skokie police, one person was taken into custody in connection with the pepper spraying, and an investigation is underway.

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