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Pro-Palestinian activists protest in front of homes of Biden admin officials

Pro-Palestinian activists had early Christmas Day messages for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday, as groups protested outside the pair’s homes in an attempt to wake them early.

The activists urged the Biden administration to stop support for Israel and push for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war, citing increasing civilian casualties and a humanitarian crisis.

The group carried signs with phrases like “stop the genocide” and calls to stop all military support for Israel, as well as cutouts of President Biden stained red with mock blood, according to footage posted on social media.

The Biden administration has supported Israel since the beginning of the conflict in early October. That stance has garnered rising criticism in recent weeks, as international and domestic pressure mounts on Israel to mind civilians in Gaza amid its ground invasion of the territory.

More than 20,000 Palestinians have died in the war, about 70 percent of them women and children, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. Near the entirety of the territory’s 2.3 million population has been displaced and is in dire need of aid, the United Nations said.

Biden has repeatedly urged the Israeli government to step back from its full military operation to minimize casualties, though the Israeli military has shown no signs of de-escalation.

Earlier this month, Austin also pressed the Israeli government to reduce its military operation in Gaza, warning it may only serve to embolden Hamas’s resistance.

“The center of gravity is the civilian population and if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat,” he said. “We will continue to press Israel to protect civilians and to ensure the robust flow of humanitarian aid.”

Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are expected to meet with a top Israeli aide in Washington on Tuesday to discuss a draw-back timeline and plans for post-war governance in Gaza, another point of tension between the U.S. and Israel.

Protesters also took to the streets of New York City on Christmas Day, as hundreds of protesters carried similar signs, cutouts and makeshift floats protesting American support for Israel. A small group clashed with police during the protest, resulting in six arrests, according to the New York Police Department.

Source: The Hill

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