Pro-Palestinian demonstrators on Saturday night climbed the fence surrounding the White House and smeared red paint on a gate to the president’s residence as tens of thousands rallied in Washington against the Biden administration’s support for Israel.
The demonstration, which attracted attendees from across the nation, started at 2 p.m. at the western end of Pennsylvania Avenue. As the crowd began marching through downtown Washington, many gathered outside the White House to yell for President Joe Biden to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
In one video from the gates of the White House, a demonstrator can be seen climbing on the fence while waving a Palestinian flag. The crowd was also filmed shouting “[explicit] you Joe Biden” and “shame” at security guards on the other side of the fence.
President Biden was not in the White House during the demonstration. He spent the night at his vacation house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
“We don’t want two states. We want 48!” chanted the Palestinian flag-waving crowd, according to another video shared from the scene. “Ceasefire Now! Ceasefire Now!”
The chant, which appeared to be a call for a unilateral ceasefire by Israel, is a reference to the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 when Israel’s five Arab neighbors attacked the newly formed country with the goal of its destruction.
Another chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” also rang out throughout the event. Many see the chant as equivalent to calling for the extermination of Israel and the annihilation of its people from the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
The demonstrators also placed Palestinian flags and signs and left graffiti on monuments near the White House. A group of protesters dipped their hands in red paint and smeared the concrete posts along the White House outer fence.
One man was arrested for destruction of property around 5:30 p.m., according to the police. He allegedly spray-painted a McDonald’s restaurant, writing the word “Gaza” on the windows.
The crowd started to disperse at around 8 p.m. The U.S. Secret Service said the process went without incident.
“Demonstrators are beginning to disperse from the area and the attempted gate trespass from earlier was handled without incident by Secret Service Uniformed Division officers and support teams,” Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the Secret Service, said in a statement. “As of now, no arrests have been made by Secret Service personnel.”
White House Calls for ‘Humanitarian Pause’
The Biden administration, while rejecting calls for a full ceasefire in Gaza, is urging the Israeli government to make brief “humanitarian pauses” of their military campaign to ensure the safe release of hostages and the distribution of critical supplies for Palestinian civilians.
“We need to do more to protect Palestinian civilians,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday in a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel. “We’ve been clear that as Israel conducts its campaign to defeat Hamas, how it does so matters.”
“It matters because it’s the right and lawful thing to do,” he continued. “It matters because failure to do so plays into the hands of Hamas and other terror groups. There will be no partners for peace if they’re consumed by humanitarian catastrophe and alienated by any perceived indifference to their plight.”
When it comes to the future of Gaza, Mr. Blinken indicated that he shared Israel’s vision of a Gaza free from Hamas control.
“Here’s what we know and I think is agreed among everyone: There cannot and must not be a return to the pre-October 7 status quo,” he said. “That’s unacceptable. It’s not tolerable for Israel; it shouldn’t be acceptable or tolerable by anyone else.”
From The Epoch Times