Congress locked down as anti-Israel rally turns violent; six officers hurt

Some of the 150 IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace demonstrators were arrested during the illegal protest.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Six policemen were injured Wednesday evening as an unlawful protest in Washington D.C. by Jewish leftist extremists demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war turned violent.

According to the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), there were about 150 supporters of IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace gathered at the entrance to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to express their support for the Palestinian side.

An equal number of police officers were needed on the scene as well, as clips on social media showed many demonstrators getting aggressive with the officers, who were dressed in riot gear.

The USCP announced that the six officers were lightly hurt by pepper spray and physical assaults, with some suffering minor cuts as well. During the melee, the authorities said on X that “officers are making arrests” among the “approximately 150 people who are illegally and violently protesting in the area of Canal Street and Ivy Street, SE,” and asked the citizenry to stay away from the clash site.

They did not say how many were being detained. Shortly after the incident, Fox News reported that the police said one person had been arrested for “assault on a police officer.”

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One protestor, named Olivia, told Fox News Digital that it was the police who were the aggressors.

“We were peacefully saying, ‘Ceasefire now,’ and the cops violently pushed us to the ground, threw us to the ground,” she said. “The violence happening around the world is happening in our backyard.”

The anti-Israeli Jews targeted the DNC because about 100 Congressional Democrats and House candidates were inside at a meeting at the time.

Brad Sherman (D-CA) posted to X after the incident that he “was just evacuated from the DNC after pro-terrorist, anti-Israel protestors grew violent, pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building.”

“Thankful to the police officers who stopped them and for helping me and my colleagues get out safely,” he added.

The clashes caused officials to put all House buildings in lockdown, temporarily not allowing any personnel in or out for their own safety.

The violence of the small pro-Palestinian crowd contrasted sharply with the peaceful, massive pro-Israel rally in Washington just the day before. Almost 300,000 American Jews and their non-Jewish supporters had gathered on the National Mall to call out the growing antisemitism in America and demand the release of the 240 hostages Hamas kidnapped on October 7 during its massacre of 1,200 people in Gaza envelope communities, setting off the current war.

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Israel has vowed to wipe out the terrorist organization once and for all, knowing with finality that Hamas will never stop trying to destroy the Jewish state, which has this goal clearly written in its founding charter. Calls for a ceasefire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, “are a call for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terror, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen.”