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Pro-Palestine protesters ‘occupy’ Israeli consulate in San Francisco

June 4, 2024 at 2:29 pm

Hundreds of Pro-Palestinian protesters take streets and gather outside of Israeli consulate to protest Israeli attacks on Gaza and Rafah, in San Francisco, California, United States on May 18, 2024 [Tayfun Coşkun – Anadolu Agency]

San Francisco police arrested 70 pro-Palestinian demonstrators on trespassing charges yesterday after they entered the lobby of the building housing the Israeli consulate and refused to leave.

According to the Associated Press, journalists witnessed police zip-tie the hands of around 50 people before placing them in police vans and driving them away. San Francisco police later confirmed that 70 protesters were arrested and cited for trespassing after refusing to vacate the building.

They have since been released from the San Francisco County Jail. The demonstrators occupied the building for several hours, posting signs on its front doors calling for an end to Israel’s war on Gaza.

The protesters posted photos on social media shortly after 9am from inside the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest.

The photos show demonstrators with banners reading “Zionism Kills” and “Committing a genocide makes Jews less safe; Not in my name!”

A video posted on X showed protesters inside the building chanting “Long live the intifada!”

Protesters voicing opposition to Israel’s attacks on Gaza, had said from the scene they planned to stay until forcibly removed, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

Moreover, a group called the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network stated on Instagram that 100 people had participated in the protest. The network posted images of banners they hung such as, “Committing a genocide makes Jews less safe; Not in my name!” and “Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.”

The Israeli consulate expressed that it was “appalled, but not surprised” by the protesters who entered the building’s lobby. In a statement, the consulate labelled the protesters as “pro-Hamas rioters” and noted that the police responded swiftly.

Israel faces growing international criticism over the war on Gaza, in which more than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority women and children.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to “immediately halt” its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

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