Protesters outside White House demand end to Israel's assault on Rafah

Demonstration held after Israeli strikes in Rafah kill scores of Palestinians in three days

Protesters outside the White House in Washington call for an end to the war in Gaza on May 29, 2024. Photo: The National
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Protesters have gathered outside the White House in response to an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza city of Rafah that killed at least 45 Palestinians, including women and children.

Demonstrators demanded an end to Israel's assault on Rafah as the attack draws an international outcry.

On Tuesday, Israel continued attacking Rafah, killing at least 21 Palestinians and wounding more than 60 despite global condemnation.

Mohammed Al Mugheir, the city's civil service official, told The National that 25 Palestinians were killed on Monday by Israeli strikes.

During Tuesday's White House rally, chants including “Hands off Gaza now,” and “Stop bombing Rafah now” were heard.

Calling for an immediate ceasefire, protesters shouted: “Biden, Biden, you're a liar. We demand a ceasefire.”

A moment of silence was held for victims of the attacks.

The Israeli strike on Sunday was aimed at Hamas officials but hit a camp for displaced Gazans in an area designated as a humanitarian safe zone.

“In the words of a Palestinian man whose family was murdered in the tent massacre: 'The army is a liar, there is no security in Gaza, there is no security, not for a child, an elderly man or a woman,'” said one protester.

The remarks came in a speech at the rally that included criticism of the US government over its response to the months-long Israel-Gaza war that has killed more than 36,100 Palestinians and wounded more than 80,000 others, local health authorities say.

The war was started after the Hamas-led assaults in southern Israel that killed 1,200 people on October 7.

“It has been almost eight months of this ridiculous clown show of our leaders pretending to do anything to help our people … when a massacre is unfolding within refugee camps … destroying every bit of remaining healthcare infrastructure and rendering Palestinians displaced,” the protester continued.

The Biden administration, along with many US officials, is facing a backlash over its response to the war.

Former US Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley came under heavy scrutiny on Tuesday after writing 'Finish them' on an Israeli bomb while visiting Israel.

While the situation in Gaza remains grim, with the Israeli invasion of Rafah showing no signs of stopping, a demonstrator highlighted the historic momentum the Palestinian cause has gained globally since the war started.

“We are seeing a shift in the narrative; countries that were traditionally supporting Israel trying to defend itself are now calling for sanctions,” the demonstrator told The National.

“You have all these new countries that are recognising the Palestinian state, you have the International Court of Justice that issued a ruling.

"We are still waiting to hear back from the US. I don't know how much longer they can keep up with it.”

Updated: May 29, 2024, 7:12 PM