WorldIsrael at War


Pro-Palestinian demonstrators hold 'Christmas is canceled' protests

As the U.S. remains one of the few countries opposed to a ceasefire in Gaza, protesters have urged the Biden administration to change its position.
Posted at 8:37 AM, Dec 26, 2023

Demonstrators in New York and Washington held protests on Christmas in opposition of the United States' support of Israel in its battle with Hamas. 

Protests were held outside the homes of several top Biden administration officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and national security adviser Jake Sullivan. It was unclear whether the two officials or their families were home at the time. 

Meanwhile, tense protests were held in New York City on Monday. According to WABC-TV, six protesters were arrested amid clashes with police. 

The protests occurred as Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem were canceled due to the war between Israel and Hamas. 

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United Nations officials say that 20,000 Palestinians have died since hostilities began in October. The fighting started when Hamas launched an attack on civilian and military targets in Israel on Oct. 7. 

The United Nations has urged Israel and Hamas to engage in a humanitarian ceasefire as nearly all of Gaza's over 2 million residents have been displaced. The United States has been among a small handful of nations that have opposed calling for such a ceasefire. 

"A humanitarian ceasefire is the only way to begin to meet the desperate needs of people in Gaza and end their ongoing nightmare," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said. "The real problem is that the way Israel is conducting this offensive is creating massive obstacles to the distribution of humanitarian aid inside Gaza." 

On Sunday, President Joe Biden said he talked with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden administration officials have continued to support Israel's fight against Hamas despite growing international discontent over Israel's bombing campaign. 

"What we've said is we don't support a permanent ceasefire at this time," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said late last week. "It would simply validate what Hamas did on the 7th of October.  It would leave them in power in Gaza, which is unacceptable to us and to our Israeli friends.  And, of course, it would give them a much longer timeline to prepare and plan additional attacks."