CHICAGO (WLS) -- Crowds with the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine started to march through downtown streets on Saturday afternoon.
The group, which Chicago police said consisted of about 5,000 people, has been protesting against Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip. The demonstration began at 151 East Wacker Drive around 2 p.m.
The crowd made its way through the Loop to South Clark Street and West Ida B. Wells Drive by 5 p.m. Chopper 7 was over the scene.
The protest came as Israel on Saturday expanded its ground operation in Gaza, sending in tanks and infantry backed by massive strikes from the air and sea. Israel's defense minister said that "the ground shook in Gaza" and that the war against the territory's Hamas rulers had entered a new stage.
The Palestinian death toll in Gaza on Saturday rose to just over 7,700 people since Oct. 7, with 377 deaths reported since late Friday, according to the territory's Health Ministry. A majority of those killed have been women and minors, the ministry said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.