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Biden address in Charleston church interrupted by protestors 

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Protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza interrupted President Biden’s speech in South Carolina on Monday, the latest example of divisions among Democrats over the fighting in the Middle East.

Biden was speaking in Charleston at Mother Emanuel Church, where a white supremacist gunman killed nine worshippers in 2015. As he spoke about how “the truth is under assault in America,” protesters inside the church yelled out.

“If you really care about the lives lost here, then you should honor the lives lost and call for a cease-fire in Palestine,” one woman could be heard shouting. 

Multiple people then broke into chants of “cease-fire now!”

Biden stood quietly as the demonstrators were escorted out and supporters began chanting “four more years!”

“I understand their passion,” Biden said. “And I’ve been quietly working with the Israeli government to get them to reduce and significantly get out of Gaza.”

As Biden restarted his prepared remarks, a supporter from the pews of the church shouted out to praise the president.

“You are an understanding person. They don’t realize that. You’re a good man,” the woman could be heard saying, prompting applause from the audience.

Biden has encountered protests during nearly every trip he has made in recent months as his administration backs Israel in its response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks that killed more than 1,000 Israelis.

The president has faced increasing pressure from the left to call for a cease-fire in Gaza, as Israeli strikes and shelling has killed thousands of Palestinians there. 

The White House has rebuffed calls for a cease-fire, saying it would allow Hamas to regroup. Instead, Biden and other White House officials have urged Israel to minimize the impacts of their operation on civilians and have in recent weeks encouraged Israeli leaders to move their military campaign to a more targeted phase.

Reuters reported last week that Israel withdrew tanks from parts of Gaza City on Monday, part of a previously announced plan to respond to changing military needs in the region.

Updated 1:28 p.m.


Source: The Hill

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