NEW YORK CITY - As war in the Middle East rages on, hundreds of people are still protesting, often groups supporting Israel and Palestinian people – demonstrating across from one another.
The escalating tensions have created what the NYPD is calling a "heightened threat environment."
It comes as Mayor Eric Adams urged New Yorkers to remain vigilant and "if you see something, say something."
He’s expected to speak Thursday at a 6 p.m. rally in Times Square, where demonstrators will demand Hamas release the hostages it's holding.
According to organizers, 15 billboards will display pictures of hostages’ faces and Israeli flags.
Gov. Kathy Hochul is expected to return Friday from her trip to Israel, which she has described as a "solidarity mission."
Meanwhile, a Free the Hostages rally was held by the United Nations Wednesday morning, with families of hostages kidnapped by Hamas pleading their loved ones not be forgotten.
An estimated 200 people were taken hostage during Hamas’ terror attacks a week and a half ago, including a number of children and Americans.
One of those attending the rally, Shany Granotlubaton, was standing in unity with the families only to suddenly find out at the press conference that her relatives – a mother and her three children – are among the kidnapped.
"Just literally a couple of minutes ago we got the message that the mother and three of the children are alive in Gaza, and it’s just so surreal for us not to know what’s going on with them." Granotlubaton said.
Moshe Emiliolavi was also on hand, calling for the release of his brother-in-law, Omri Mira. The soft-spoken 46-year-old was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists during the attacks a week and a half ago.
Moshe credits Omri for being extra involved in his daughter's upbringing, so Moshe’s sister could focus on career development.
"We just want to make sure the hostages are not forgotten in the midst of this ongoing tragedy," Emiliolavi said, reiterating the hostages must be at the top of the list for discussions between any of the parties involved.
Shortly after the rally, other ones were once again held in different parts of the city – hundreds gathered outside the CUNY location on 5th Avenue and 34th Street in support of Palestinians.