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18 Oct, 2023 20:19

Pro-Palestinian protesters invade US Capitol

The demonstrators demanded that the US push Israel and Hamas towards a ceasefire
Pro-Palestinian protesters invade US Capitol

Scores of pro-Palestinian protesters staged a sit-in protest in the US Capitol on Wednesday, demanding that the US back a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Police arrested multiple demonstrators who refused to leave the building.

The activists broke away from a larger demonstration on the National Mall and sat on the floor in the House Office Building, as a ring of police looked on. Chanting “ceasefire now!” the protesters held banners reading “let Gaza live” and “not in our name.”

Shortly after the protest began, Capitol Police warned the crowd to disperse, before moving in and detaining those who refused to comply. Capitol Police reported that roughly 300 people were arrested.

The demonstration was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, which claimed that more than 350 people, including 24 rabbis, took part. Outside, the group claimed that up to 10,000 people marched “to challenge the Israeli government’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”

Israel’s air campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza entered its 12th day on Wednesday. Launched in response to a large-scale attack on Israel by Hamas, the Jewish states response has left nearly 3,500 dead and more than 12,000 wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

American officials and lawmakers have overwhelmingly backed the Israeli military response, with President Joe Biden visiting Tel Aviv on Wednesday to show his countrys solidarity.

Only a handful of Democratic lawmakers have spoken out against the Israeli operation. Among them are Representatives Cori Bush of Missouri and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who both spoke at Wednesday’s rally.

“President Biden, not all of America is with you on this one, and you need to wake up and understand that,” Tlaib told the crowd. “We are literally watching people commit genocide.”