Left-wing Jewish protesters sympathetic to the cause of Palestinian nationalism were arrested outside the White House Monday.
Over 30 people were handcuffed by Secret Service for blocking entrances to the White House and crossing safety barriers.
The protesters - who called for a cease-fire in Israel's war with Gaza - were charged with unlawful entry or incommoding.
Israelis are being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas, the militant group that slaughtered over 1,400 Israelis in a brutal surprise attack days ago.
There are concerns the conflict could escalate into a regional war, and those sympathetic to Palestine in particular have urged a cease-fire, characterizing Israel's military response as an act of genocide.
President Biden and other mainstream Democrats have rejected calls for a cease-fire as an affront to the Israelis, who are still reckoning with the most brutal attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust.
Activists with IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace chanted "cease-fire now" and held signs denouncing the "genocide" of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas.
Some of the protesters chanted, "We've got hang gliders - glory to all the resistance fighters," - a reference to Hamas terrorists who used hang gliders to breach the Gaza border.
Disturbing video captured the moment a large pro-Palestine crowd chanted in support of Hamas jihadists outside the White House on Oct. 8:
“We’ve got hang gliders—glory to all the resistance fighters.”pic.twitter.com/LszkJojC9a
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) October 17, 2023
Some of the protesters scuffled with cops while attempting to cross barricades:
Leftists in Covid masks who support Palestinians staged an insurrection outside the White House today.
They openly sparred with Secret Service. No arrests made. pic.twitter.com/YduULtEXk6
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) October 17, 2023
Ahead of an expected ground invasion, Israel has cut off food and other supplies to the Gaza Strip, a densely populated coastal area home to more than 2 million people. 2,700 Gazans have been killed in airstrikes since the war began.
The Hamas attacks have brought an outpouring of sympathy for Israel, while emboldening supporters of Palestine - including Hamas apologists who have been unmasked in left-wing circles, including groups like Black Lives Matter.
Biden has stood behind Israel, but he has also expressed concern about the impact of its response in Gaza. He told 60 Minutes that Israel "has to respond" to the Hamas attacks, but he said it would be a "big mistake" for Israel to occupy Gaza again.
"They have to go after Hamas. Hamas is a bunch of cowards. They're hiding behind the civilians," he said.
Biden will visit Israel on Wednesday in a show of solidarity.