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300 protesters calling for cease-fire in Gaza arrested at US Capitol

Dozens of people gathered Wednesday afternoon inside the Cannon Rotunda, where demonstrations are not allowed.
Protesters at US Capitol call for Gaza ceasefire
Posted at 1:37 PM, Oct 18, 2023

About 300 protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza were arrested at the U.S. Capitol. 

Dozens of people gathered Wednesday afternoon inside the Cannon Rotunda, where demonstrations are not allowed. 

"We warned the protesters to stop demonstrating and when they did not comply we began arresting them," Capitol Police said in a statement. 

Police added that three of the people arrested were charged with assault on a police officer. 

Some Jewish organizations arranged protests against Israeli government policies in Gaza and began marching on the streets for an end to Gaza bombardment, eventually entering the Capitol and the Cannon House Office Building before arrests were made.

For safety reasons, police implemented temporary rolling closures. The roads were reopened by around 5:30 p.m.

The protest follows a similar demonstration at the White House earlier this week, where more than 40 protesters were arrested for suspicion of unlawful entry as they allegedly crossed the safety barriers and blocked entrances, Axios reported.  

President Joe Biden was traveling back to the U.S. from Israel at the time of Wednesday's protest. In a meeting with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, President Biden pledged his support to Israel in the face of attacks from Hamas.

The conflict began on Oct. 7 when Hamas led a surprise attack on Israel. Officials said more than 1,000 Israelis were killed and nearly 200 others were taken hostage. 

Israel responded to the attack by going after Hamas in Gaza. Hamas says more than 3,400 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict and another 12,000 are injured. 

SEE MORE: Biden: Israel not to blame in Gaza hospital blast that killed hundreds


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