Protests for Palestinians continue around the world: NPR

Palestinians wave the national flag during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, to protest an explosion at a Gaza hospital that killed hundreds a day earlier.

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Palestinians wave the national flag during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, to protest an explosion at a Gaza hospital that killed hundreds a day earlier.

Yuri Cortez/AFP via Getty Images

Angry protesters shouted pro-Palestinian messages and waved Palestinian flags and in some cases clashed with security at demonstrations from Lebanon to the West Bank and Washington, DC.

In Amman, Jordan, more than a thousand people marched on the Israeli embassy in the hours after news broke of an explosion at a hospital in Gaza. Security forces fired tear gas at people trying to reach the building and chased the crowd away from the embassy.

Videos posted online showed hundreds of people gathering not far from the US embassy in Beirut in a second day of protests on Wednesday. Protesters reportedly clashed There, along with the police, they removed the security wall and cut the fence on the road leading to the embassy.

The anger was fueled after hundreds of people were killed in a bombing at the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday. Many called for an end to attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Others expressed anger at the world’s neglect of the Palestinian people.

The raw emotion felt by many who have taken to the streets in protest across the Middle East, including in Egypt, Morocco and Iran, underscores the tensions spreading across the region from the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut issued a warning on Wednesday telling American citizens there to avoid the Awqar area “due to the possibility of further demonstrations.” The embassy remained open, but the State Department raised its travel advisory for Lebanon to Level 4: Do Not Travel.

A pro-Palestinian protester throws fireworks at riot police during a demonstration near the U.S. Embassy in the northern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023.

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A pro-Palestinian protester throws fireworks at riot police during a demonstration near the U.S. Embassy in the northern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023.

Bilal Hussain/AP

The State Department urges U.S. citizens in Lebanon to make plans to depart as soon as possible while business options still exist,” the agency said.

Clashes continued late Wednesday when President Joe Biden met with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv. He expressed support for Israel and doubled down on his insistence that the blast at the hospital was the result of a Palestinian militant group and not an Israeli attack. Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls Gaza, and other Arab countries blamed Israel.

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Palestinian authorities announced a strike in the West Bank on Wednesday in response to the Gaza hospital tragedy. Many shops and business establishments were closed as part of the demonstration.

In several neighborhoods in the West Bank, including Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron, Palestinians took to the streets. Some reportedly threw stones at Israeli security forces in the West Bank.

Reuters reported Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian youths near Ramallah during the protest.

In Washington, an estimated 300 people were arrested during protests at the Capitol, US Capitol Police told NPR, and three were charged with assaulting police officers.

Demonstrators protest inside the Cannon House office building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023.

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Demonstrators protest inside the Cannon House office building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023.

Maryam Juhaib/AP

American Jewish organizations gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday to criticize the Israeli government and demand a ceasefire.

Jewish Voice for Peace and the Orc organization, if not now, marched through the streets demanding an end to the “genocide in Palestine.” They entered the Capitol building in the late afternoon and continued to demonstrate at the Cannon House office building until police began making arrests.

Capitol police said Wednesday night that the number of arrests could change by Thursday once everyone has been processed.

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