Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked traffic in Boston and San Francisco at rush hour on Thursday morning, calling for a Gaza cease-fire. Israel has continued to target Hamas’ leadership over a month following the militant group’s deadly incursion in Israel.
The group IfNotNow, which claims to represent the Boston Jewish community, chanted, “Cease-fire Now!” on the Boston University Bridge. They demanded that Elizabeth Warren, D. Mass., support a cease-fire immediately and use her influence in order to stop Israel’s military actions in Gaza.
The group of protesters held up signs saying “Let Gaza live” and unfurled an enormous banner that read “Jews Say: Ceasefire Now.”
One protester told NBC Boston that he cared about the lives of Palestinians, but he only wanted to hurt Hamas. Another said, “There cannot be peace for Jews unless peace is achieved for Palestinians.”
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators also closed down the Bay Bridge at San Francisco where President Biden courted world leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
The Arab Resource and Organizing Center organized the demonstration. Protesters shouted “Free Palestine” and chanted “We Want Justice.” Other protesters chained themselves up to the bridge or lay in the road with sheets covered with fake blood.
The station reported that authorities had closed one lane of the bridge during the summit as a precautionary measure, citing California Highway Patrol.
Israel has vowed that it will wipe out Hamas following the surprise attack by the militant group on October 7, in which more than 1,200 Israelis were killed and 240 taken hostage in Gaza.
According to the Health Ministry of Hamas-controlled Gaza, more than 11,200 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the war.
Residents said that the protest occurred as Israeli forces dropped flyers warning Palestinians to leave parts of southern Gaza. This could be a sign of an expansion of their offensive.