Far-left protesters interrupt congressional hearing on US military aid to Israel

Demonstrators displaying the message "Free Gaza" raise their hands in the air during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to examine the national security supplemental request, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 31, 2023. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)
Demonstrators displaying the message "Free Gaza" raise their hands in the air during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to examine the national security supplemental request, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 31, 2023. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

Far-left protesters with hands covered in red paint have repeatedly interrupted a congressional hearing on US military aid, demanding that Washington stop funding Israel’s fight against Hamas and calling for a ceasefire.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are appealing to the Senate Appropriations Committee for billions of dollars in military assistance to support Israel, Ukraine and other security costs.

Some two dozen spectators have raised hands covered in paint in a symbol of the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip since Israel declared war and said it would topple the Hamas terror group, which rules the Palestinian territory, after Hamas’s murderous shock onslaught on October 7.

Several had “Free Gaza” written on their arms and held signs demanding “No more $$$ 4 Israel,” while some cry out “Ceasefire now,” “Palestinians are not animals” and “Shame on you all.”

One man wore a shirt reading “Stop backing genocide.”

Blinken has been forced to stop speaking several times as some demonstrators were escorted out by police.

Responding to the calls from the protesters in his remarks, Blinken says the US is committed to protecting civilians in Gaza but asserts that it does not support a ceasefire at this moment because it simply would allow Hamas to regroup and commit another massacre like it did on October 7.

US President Joe Biden has asked Congress for more than $105 billion in security spending, including $14.3 billion for its staunch ally Israel.

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