Washington: Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters, some chanting ‘Allah-o-Akbar’, marched through Washington Saturday in the biggest US demonstration since Israel began bombarding Gaza, pressuring President Joe Biden to end U.S. support for Israel.
US media reported that other US cities organised protests denouncing Israel and urging the Biden administration to end the slaughter of Palestinians.
Young protestors in Washington chanted, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ while wearing black and white keffiyehs and brandishing Palestinian flags on the White House street.
According to footage from the incident, demonstrators sprayed red paint at the White House gates to symbolise the blood of Palestinians killed and besieged Gaza and tried to scale the fence early Sunday morning.
Palestinian flags and signs were also placed on city monuments by protesters. Organisers from dozens of pro-Palestinian groups led marches to Freedom Plaza in the capital before looping by the White House.
Stand with the besieged Palestinians now! Bombs are falling on Gaza every hour. Its people are denied food, water, and power by Israel. Tens of thousands more may perish. Act now!” the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (Answer) coalition said on its website.
The march and rallies in New York, Seattle, and other US cities were part of a growing movement to terminate US and western military funding to Israel and a truce in the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Support for Palestine protests were also held in London, Berlin, Paris, Ankara, and Istanbul, targeting Israel and Western governments.
Over his backing for Israel, US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said President Biden “supported the genocide of the Palestinian people”.
Tlaib shared a video to X, formerly Twitter, showcasing tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian marches nationwide with a message for the president. “Mr. President, the American people are not with you on this one,” she stated.
“We will remember in 2024,” the US election year. The Biden administration has pledged billions in aid to Israel in its fight against Hamas. The administration has asked for a “humanitarian pause” in the battle to help Gaza civilians in recent days.
Palestinian-American Tlaib is one of Congress’s most vocal proponents of a full cease-fire in the Middle East. Over a dozen House Democrats, including Tlaib, endorsed a cease-fire resolution last month.
Over 9,200 Palestinians, including 3,800 children, have died in Israeli air strikes. Over a million people have been displaced in Gaza, and most are running out of food, water, and medicine, according to humanitarian organisations.
In the recent week, Israeli air attacks levelled neighbourhoods and disrupted contact for hours. Gaza is remains without gasoline due to an Israeli embargo, which UN authorities have warned will likely terminate assistance deliveries and leave the area without power, especially at crucial hospitals.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel on Friday to promote the Biden administration’s humanitarian halt in the conflict, but Benjamin Netanyahu has said there would be no pause. The administration has rejected Tlaib’s call for a full cease-fire.