RACIAL tension and traffic chaos hit the heart of Sydney on Tuesday night as scores of pro-Palestinian activists took over CBD streets.
Hundreds took part in the march to Town Hall after a police application to the NSW Supreme Court for a change of location failed.
The Al-Nakba rally commemorates the creation of the state of Israel on the same date in 1948.
Police warned workers to avoid central streets between 5 and 7pm but as crowds gathered, drivers were faced with lengthy delays.
Officer from the riot squad were on standby.
Australians for Palestine spokeswoman Sylvia Hale said the freedom to protest without police interference was an "essential right" in a democratic country.
"It is critical, at a time when Israel has jailed hundreds of Palestinians without charge or trial for protesting at Israel's illegal occupation of their land, that we show our support for them and the thousands of other political prisoners in Israeli jails".
"Australia must cut all military ties with Israel until the Israeli government abides by international law and ends its racist policies of ethnic cleansing".