Lots of of individuals participated in a pro-Palestinian rally and march Saturday in entrance of the Israeli Consulate in West Los Angeles, condemning Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip in retaliation for Hamas’ brutal assault final month on its neighbor.
Waving Palestinian flags and chanting “Stop-fire now!” the demonstrators rallied in entrance of the consulate on Wilshire Boulevard in Brentwood at about 1 p.m. They then started slowly marching east beneath the 405 Freeway and towards the Federal Constructing in Westwood.
Although orderly and peaceable, the marchers unfold out over the road, leaving one lane open for vehicles to move earlier than ultimately taking up the whole boulevard. Many motorists rolled down their home windows, fists bumping, whistling, and even pulling out their very own Palestinian flags in solidarity.
The protests come amid an escalating warfare between Israel and Hamas militants, who launched a shock offensive from neighboring Gaza on southern Israel on Oct. 7.
Since then, greater than 1,400 folks have died on the Israeli facet, with Palestinian militants continung to carry about 220 folks hostage. Greater than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed within the warfare, principally girls and youngsters, in line with the Hamas-run Gaza Well being Ministry.
Yessar Takruri, 32, one of many protesters in Los Angeles, mentioned he was born right here and raised within the West Financial institution. He blamed the U.S. for its political and monetary help of Israel.
“I would like the U.S. to strain Israel to cease-fire,” he mentioned. “I don’t need my tax cash and American folks’s tax cash funding navy occupation. It ought to go to healthcare and applications within the U.S., not what’s abroad. It’s unacceptable.”
“I’m protected as a result of I’m not in Gaza, however I don’t have a standard life due to the psychological injury on refugees and Palestinians everywhere in the world,” Takruri mentioned. “How am I purported to go to work and go about my life when my persons are being massacred?”
One other protester, Wesam Eltohamy, 50, mentioned that for the Israeli authorities to easily enable Palestinians to flee Gaza shouldn’t be an appropriate resolution.
“Give them their freedom of their land,” she mentioned, as she waved a Palestinian flag. “It’s like saying, ‘Go away your own home and reside within the yard of your neighbors in a tent.’”
Eltohamy mentioned she immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt 17 years in the past and is in fixed communication along with her household in Egypt concerning the Israel-Hamas warfare. She mentioned she is looking for a cease-fire and calls for that the Biden administration cease supporting Israel.
“Simply give folks their freedom,” she mentioned. “They’re not asking for a lot.”
Saturday’s demonstration was held in solidarity with different massive pro-Palestinian rallies and protests world wide Saturday, together with Washington, D.C., the place hundreds gathered in Freedom Plaza, a block from the White Home.
Additionally on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with pissed off Arab overseas ministers within the Center East. They’re calling for a right away cease-fire, however Blinken mentioned this could enable Hamas to regroup and encourage extra assaults.
As a substitute, Blinken and the Biden administration are persevering with to push for “humanitarian pauses” throughout ongoing talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has mentioned there can be no cease-fire till Hamas releases all of the hostages.
On Saturday, two Israeli navy strikes hit a faculty that was getting used as a U.N. shelter, killing a number of civilians. Gaza’s well being ministry mentioned 15 folks had been killed and one other 70 folks injured.
The Israeli navy mentioned it will grant a three-hour window on Saturday for residents trapped by the combating to flee to the southern a part of Gaza.