Thousands of Demonstrations in Washington Demand the End of the Gaza War and Israel’s Implications for the Middle East
Thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Washington and other cities across America on Saturday to protest the scope and scale of Israel’s retaliation in Gaza for last month’s terrorist assault by Hamas.
Saturday’s marches, organized in cities including New York, Nashville, Cincinnati, Las Vegas and San Francisco, extended a stretch of loud calls for a cease-fire and lifting of the siege, following vast demonstrations a week ago in Asian and European capitals.
In a poll released by Quinnipiac University on Thursday, 84 percent of voters said that they were concerned that the United States would be drawn militarily into the Middle East conflict. The majority of people in the country support sending more military aid to Israel for their campaign against Hamas.
The causes that have long connected themselves to Palestinian politics include labor unions and antiwar campaigns, which were expected to show up at the demonstrations on Saturday.
Many put up placards with slogans like ” Let Gaza live” and ”Mourn the dead, Fight like hell for the living” just before the start of the protest. A coffin shrouded in a Palestinian flag rested on the ground, not far from where more than a dozen adults and children stretched out another flag. A Muslim called to prayer through the plaza around 1 p.m.
Protesters on the fringes of the demonstration had a message for President Biden, who was inside the White House Visitor Center. The protesters want to stop U.S. military aid to Israel. I said, “You lost my vote.”
Israeli troops invade Gaza City, killing hundreds of civilians in a raid on the Gaza-Citizen city of Gaza, according to journalist Majdi Ahmed
“We don’t have internet to listen to the news and know what is happening — but we can hear it,” said Majdi Ahmed, 32, a taxi driver taking shelter in a hospital in the city.
Some residents of Gaza City tried to assess the Israeli advance by listening to the sound of the gunfire while their mobile phones were out of service.
Saher Abu Adgham, a Palestinian graphic designer, was hunting for firewood in Gaza City to boil some rice. He slept at home as dusk approached, in case the army advanced at nightfall.
But for the civilians in Gaza City, who have witnessed one of the most intense bombing campaigns of the 21st century, the Israeli army’s approach is terrifying.
The wall of the school had fallen down. The minaret of a mosque was tilting to one side. A maroon sofa was exposed to the elements after the roof of a beachfront villa vanished.
Less than a month ago, the northern coastline of Gaza was a quiet seafront flecked here and there with beach resorts and hotels. On Saturday, it was a giant Israeli military camp.
The armored vehicle was struck by a mortar shell shortly after the journalists entered Gaza through a hole in the wall.
Thousands of troops began their incursion down the coastline on Oct. 27, one part of a three-pronged invasive force that aims to vanquish Hamas, which led a brazen raid on Israel last month that killed roughly 1,400 people.
The long line of infantry marched south along the road. In the sand dunes east of the road, long rows of tanks and armored vehicles dominated the landscape, stretching toward the horizon.
The Colonel’s Favored Weapons: Running into a Soldier, a Mouse in a Bush-Breaking Campaign
“It’s like catching a mouse,” Colonel Ben-Anat said of the enemy. You have to find him. You know that he is there. You know when you catch him that he is done.
The soldiers gathered around the cooking of corn and carrots in the portable stove. Several sported well-groomed mustaches — an incongruous nod to Movember, an annual global fund-raising campaign in which men grow mustaches throughout the month of November.
All the political divisions in Israel of the past year — in which thousands of military reservists had threatened to refuse to serve in protest of the Israeli government — had vanished, the colonel said. Reservists were many of his men.
Some soldiers were cooking and resting while others were drawing their weapons to protect themselves. The colonel claimed that Hamas could emerge from hidden shafts and launch an ambush on Israeli troops from hundreds of miles away.
To reach the front, the journalists drove in a convoy of five tanks and two armored vehicles. A reporter for The Times traveled in an armored vehicle. The car had no windows and the driver used a digital screen to see what was in front of him.
Dozens of Palestinian journalists have been killed in air assaults since the start of the war, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.