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About 300 protesters pleading for a cease-fire have been arrested on Capitol Hill, organizers say. Receive US

A whole bunch of demonstrators descended on a congressional constructing in Washington on Wednesday afternoon to demand a cease-fire within the Israel-Hamas conflict, leading to an estimated 300 arrests and limiting entry to Capitol Hill.

The rally was organized by two progressive Jewish teams, Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, and about 400 of their members assembled contained in the rotunda of the Cannon Home Workplace Constructing, led by about 25 rabbis studying testimonials from Palestinians in Gaza and reciting prayers. Outdoors, a whole lot extra chanted, “Stop-fire now” and sang in Hebrew and English.

Demonstrations aren’t permitted in congressional buildings. About 300 protesters have been arrested, organizers estimated, although the Capitol Police wouldn’t touch upon the quantity past saying on the social media platform X that three have been charged with assault on a police officer. Protesters have been restrained with zip ties and led into police vans.

Linda Holtzman, a rabbi from Philadelphia, stated she was protesting due to her religion, values and Jewish historical past, a theme different attendees echoed. Rabbi Holtzman, who stated she was involved about violence intensifying towards civilians in Gaza, stated that her grandmother survived the Holocaust and that she was taught to struggle for all human life.

“The place there isn’t a justice, I’ve to be a voice for justice,” she stated.

Yasir Barakt, who moved to america from Gaza about 18 years in the past, attended on behalf of his household again in Gaza, the place greater than two million individuals are working out of water, meals and electrical energy. Mr. Barakt stated he had had restricted contact together with his household due to the situations, and he blamed america for what he described as funding violence towards Palestinians.

Jim Greatest, 77, who recognized as a homosexual, “red-blooded, patriotic taxpayer and grandfather,” visited Gaza in 2016, a visit, he stated, that accentuated the quality-of-life disparity amongst Palestinians residing within the Gaza Strip and people of Israelis having fun with relative affluence close by. He stated he felt obligated to protest.

“My coronary heart and thoughts and soul won’t ever be the identical,” Mr. Greatest stated.

The gathering on the Capitol got here simply two days after a rally close to the White Home on Monday that the Jewish Voice for Peace government director, Stefanie Fox, estimated drew not less than 5,000 individuals. Activists on the rally on Wednesday known as on demonstrators to attend one other protest, close to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, later within the night. On Friday, the group plans to take part in a rally with a number of activist teams on the Nationwide Mall.

“Individuals are coming from throughout the nation,” stated Eva Borgwardt, the nationwide spokeswoman for If Not Now. She believes that protesting violence is a method to honor fallen Israelis and Palestinians. “So many people are grieving,” she stated, including, “The horrific bombing can’t be the reply.”

Robert Jimison contributed reporting.

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