Hundreds gather at Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., to protest Gaza airstrikes

People and members of the Palestinian Civil Defense extinguish a fire in a paint warehouse that was hit by an Israeli artillery shell on eastern Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Tuesday. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI

May 19 (UPI) — Hundreds of people gathered outside of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to protest recent attacks on Palestinians in fighting that has killed more than 200 people.

The demonstrators shouted,”Free, Free, Palestine” and other chants criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the latest demonstration as nations throughout the world called for a cease-fire in the region.

The Gaza Health Ministry said Tuesday that at least 212 Palestinians, including 61 children, have been killed by Israeli airstrikes, while another 16 people died in the West Bank. Rockets fired by the Palestinian militant group Hamas have killed 12 people, including two children, in Israel.

Tuesday’s demonstration follows rallies at the embassy and the National Mall over the weekend, as Gaza experienced its bloodiest day in the latest outbreak of violence that began last week, with 50 people killed on Sunday.

Similar rallies were held in major U.S. cities throughout the weekend including New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans and Sacramento, Calif.

Additionally, Palestinians in Israel and the occupied West Bank in Gaza participated in a general work strike on Tuesday as they demonstrated in central squares and waved Palestinian flags.

“It reflects how Palestinians now have a unified struggle against the same system of apartheid,” Mustafa Barghouti, an independent politician attending a rally in central Ramallah, told The New York Times.

On Tuesday, 26 of the European Union’s 27 member states called for a cease-fire in the conflict and condemned Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel, saying the group should defend itself in a “proportional manner.”

Over the weekend the United Nations failed to produce a resolution on the conflict for the third time, as China blamed the United States for keeping the foreign ministers from being able “to speak with one voice.”

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday said he supports a cease-fire as his administration comes under increasing pressure to condemn Israel’s airstrikes on the Gaza Strip after previously defending the nation’s right to defend itself.


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