Protests outside Israeli embassy in D.C. as air strikes continue in Gaza
WASHINGTON (NewsChannel 8) – The Palestinian death toll reached 100 on Friday, as violence continues to erupt in the Middle East. Rocket launches continue to strike along the Gaza strip—and there's no end in sight.
Closer to home, dozens of angry protestors showed up at Israel's embassy. It wasn't just Palestinians that showed up; there were Americans and Jews as well. Their message: stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Armed with signs and banging homemade drums, the crowd chanted, "We charge you with genocide," condemning Israel's air strikes.
Across the street, dozens of Metropolitan Police officers stood guard at the Israeli Embassy. One journalist ended up in handcuffs for getting too close to the embassy, but after being questioned by officers he was let go.
The latest violence erupted after the kidnapping and killings of three Israeli teens in the West Bank and a Palestinian teen's abduction and brutal death in apparent retaliation.
The Israeli ambassador spoke about the tensions in Washington, D.C. on Friday.
"We are doing everything we can to minimize civilian casualties on the other side, whereas Hamas is deliberately targeting our civilians, hoping to get as many Israelis as possible," said Ambassador Ron Dermer.
So far, no Israelis have been killed, compared to more than 100 Palestinians—that's thanks to specialized defense mechanisms, including an iron dome to deflect rockets.
The protestors say it's like David facing Goliath.
“So, we're here to demand a ceasefire by both sides," said Alli McCracken, with an organization called Code Pink.
"What's the whole point in attacking families," added Mehrunisa Qayyum, another protestor.
But old wounds run deep and there's plenty of concern the violence will escalate.
"I'm terrified. I'm absolutely terrified," said another protestor.
Another rally is planned for Sunday, July 13 at 2 p.m. at the Columbia Heights Mall.