Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters march across Washington, urge end of US support to Israel

WASHINGTON, Nov 05 (Alliance News): Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters — some of them chanting ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ — marched through Washington Saturday in what was called the biggest US demonstration since Israel began its bombardment of Gaza, stepping up pressure on President Joe Biden to end U.S.’ support of the Jewish state.

Similar protests were also held in cities across the United States that denounced Israel and called on the Biden administration to pressure Israel to stop its genocide of Palestinian people, according to US media reports.

 

 

In Washington, raising slogans such as ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ and donning black and white keffiyehs while holding Palestinian flags, the protesters, predominantly young individuals, gathered on the street leading to the White House.

The protesters also splashed red paint at the gates of the White House, symbolizing the blood of Palestinians being ruthlessly killed and besieged Gaza, and attempted to scale the fence around the president’s residence early Sunday morning, according to footage shared from the scene.

Protesters also placed Palestinian flags and signs on monuments around the city.

Organizers representing or endorsed by dozens of pro-Palestinian groups directed marchers to Freedom Plaza in the nation’s capital before looping past the White House.

“Now is the time to stand with the besieged people of Palestine! Gaza is being bombed by the hour. Its people are denied food, water and electricity by Israel. Tens of thousands more people are likely to die. We must ACT!” the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (Answer) coalition said on its website.

The march, alongside protests in New York, Seattle and other US cities, was part of an intensifying push to demand both a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict and an end to US and western military aid to Israel. Demonstrations in support of Palestine were also staged in London, Berlin, Paris, Ankara and Istanbul with a similar message for both Israel and supportive Western governments.

Meanwhile, US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib criticized President Biden, saying he “supported the genocide of the Palestinian people” over his administration’s support for Israel.

Tlaib posted a video to X, formerly known as Twitter, showing pro-Palestinian marches around the country with tens of thousands of participants, adding a message for the president.

“Mr. President, the American people are not with you on this one,” she said. “We will remember in 2024,” the year US elections are due to take place.

The Biden administration has strongly backed Israel in its conflict against Hamas, including pledging billions in aid for the country. In recent days, the administration has called for a “humanitarian pause” in the war in order to assist Gaza civilians.

Tlaib, who is of Palestinian heritage, is one of the loudest voices in Congress in favour of a full cease-fire in the Middle Eastern conflict. Over a dozen House Democrats, Tlaib included, signed a resolution backing a cease-fire last month.

Israeli air strikes have killed more than 9,200 Palestinian people, including over 3,800 children.

Humanitarian organizations have described a dire situation in Gaza, where over a million people have been displaced and most are running out of food, water and medical supplies. Israeli air strikes leveled entire neighbourhoods, and Israel cut off all communication in the last week for hours.

Gaza is still without fuel deliveries due to an Israeli blockade, which United Nations leaders have warned will likely lead to an end of aid deliveries and result in the territory completely going without power, including at critical hospitals.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel on Friday to advocate for the Biden administration’s proposal of a humanitarian pause in the conflict, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signaled that there will be no pause.

The administration has sworn off a complete cease-fire, which Tlaib has advocated for.

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