N.Y.C. Protest Calling for Gaza Cease-Fire Targets Pro-Israel Senators

More than a dozen people were arrested Thursday evening during a peaceful pro-Palestinian protest inside a Manhattan building where Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrats of New York, have offices.

Wearing black T-shirts reading “Cease Fire Now” and holding up signs demanding that the senators “stop funding genocide,” the protesters linked arms and sat on the floor in front of elevators in the lobby of the building at 780 Third Avenue, singing slogans and ignoring instructions to leave until police officers arrested them.

The demonstration, organized by a local chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, a progressive activist group, was the latest in what have become almost daily protests throughout New York City since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Those attacks killed at least 1,200 Israelis, according to Israeli officials; Israel’s subsequent military operation in Gaza has killed 29,000 Palestinians, according to Gazan health officials. The mounting death toll and humanitarian crisis in Gaza have prompted international calls for a cease-fire.

By about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, several hundred protesters had gathered at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, in front of the United Nations headquarters, where the United States this week cast the lone vote against a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. It was the third time the Biden administration had blocked similar resolutions, signaling its continued support of Israel.

Accompanied by a heavy police presence, the demonstrators on Thursday marched through a light rain toward the headquarters of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful lobbying group established decades ago to promote Israel’s interests in the United States.

Organizers blamed senators supported by AIPAC for passing an aid package this month that included $14.1 billion for Israel’s war against Hamas. The bill must still go through the House, where its fate is uncertain.

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