Thousands expected to attend pro-Palestine march in DC for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war
Aerial footage from Freedom Plaza showed a massive crowd listening to a number of speakers.
In the following counterattacks by Israel, at least 9,257 people in Gaza have been killed, with more than 23,516 wounded, the Gaza Health Ministry has said.
President Joe Biden, who came out strongly in support of Israel after the vicious attack by Hamas, called for a humanitarian “pause” on Wednesday but didn’t argue for a ceasefire.
The “National March on Washington: Free Palestine” is a chance for demonstrators to do just that.
The rally began at 2pm just to the east of the White House at the Western end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Rally speaker accuses Biden of ‘dehumanizing’ Palestinians
A speaker with the Palestinian American Community Network has accused President Joe Biden of “dehumanizing” Palestinians.
She also announced upcoming protests at the headquarters of the RNC and DNC.
Massive crowd turns out for DC pro-Palestine rally
Organizers began prepping for 2pm rally before sunrise
“Volunteers already hard at work getting ready for today’s massive National March on Washington for Palestine!” the ANSWER Coalition wrote on X at 6.26am.
MSNBC covers DC rally
VIDEO: Thousands rally in DC in support of Palestinians and ceasefire in Gaza
Blinken walks a fine line on ceasefire as thousands attend DC pro-Palestine event
Thousands of people joined a rally in downtown Washington DC to call for a ceasefire amid Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attempts to walk a fine line between the demands of Israel and the region’s Arab countries.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Mr Blinken’s Qatari counterpart, told the top US diplomat at a meeting in Amman, the capital of Jordan, on Saturday that mediation to get Hamas to release hostages is jeopardised by the Israeli bombing, the foreign ministry of Qatar said.
Mr Blinken met with the foreign ministers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, in addition to the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Mr Blinken is on a trip to several countries throughout the Middle East following his third visit to Israel in the four weeks that have passed since the 7 October attack on Israel by Hamas, the group in charge of Gaza that has been labelled as a terror organisation by the US and the EU, which led to the brutal killing of more than 1,400 people.
More than 9,000 people have died in Gaza, following Israeli counterattacks, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Blinken reitirates Biden administration not in favour of a ceasefire
Antony Blinken yet again noted that the Biden administration is not in favour of a ceasefire at this time, even as it’s been reported that US officials worked behind the scenes to urge Israel to restrain its response and as President Joe Biden has called for the protection of civilians.
The secretary of state instead repeated his call for “humanitarian pauses” as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that his government, which is partially made up of some of Israel’s most far-right parties, opposes any ceasefire unless Hamas lets go all of the hostages they hold. Mr Netanyahu said Israel would continue to block fuel from entering Gaza.
The leaders of Egypt and Jordan, the latter of which has a large Palestinian population, sharply criticised the Israel counteroffensive following the meetings with Mr Blinken, who noted that there are differences with the Arab leaders in their views of the conflict, ahead of his visit to Turkey.
Thousands rally in DC in support of Palestinians and ceasefire in Gaza
Benjamin Alvarez captured an overhead view of the growing rally from a nearby clocktower. Demonstrators waved flags, chanted, and listened to speeches from community members.
The rally comes after Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected calls for a temporary ceasefire unless all hostages are released by Hamas.
According to the Gaza Health Ministry, at least 9,257 people in Gaza have been killed, with more than 23,516 wounded, since Israel began its counterattacks following the 7 October surprise attack by Hamas.
Hamas blocking foreign nationals from leaving Gaza
A US official has told CNN that Hamas is blocking foreign nationals from leaving Gaza until they receive guarantees from Israel that ambulances from the Strip can get to the border with Egypt in Rafah.
Hamas made the demand following Israel’s acknowledgement on Friday that it attacked an ambulance near the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the largest medical facility in the Strip.
The ambulance was part of a convoy moving towards Rafah, the last open access point to exit Gaza. Israel argued that Hamas was using the ambulance, which has been rejected by the Gaza Health Ministry – which is controlled by Hamas.
An official on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing has said that 700 foreign nationals were expected to leave Gaza on Saturday, CNN reported.
On Friday, reports emerged that early attempts to get foreign nationals across the border were hampered partly by Hamas putting its own fighters on a list of injured Palestinians who were set to leave via Rafah, a US official said.
UN secretary general clashes with Israeli UN ambassador
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “horrified” by the attack on the ambulance. He called for a ceasefire and for the hostages to be released.
Gilad Erdan, the Israeli UN ambassador, said Mr Guterres has been commenting on the situation “without even bothering to ask” about the context in which the strike occurred.
“You completely ignore the fact that Hamas intentionally exploits ambulances for terror,” Mr Erdan wrote on X.
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