‘Stop Arming Israel’ – Pro-Palestine Protesters Challenge Biden’s State of Union Address

US President Joe Biden. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Pro-Palestinian activists carried out demonstrations across key parts of Washington D.C. on Thursday evening as President Joe Biden delivered the annual State of the Union address.

Hundreds of demonstrators, demanding an immediate ceasefire in the war-torn Gaza Strip, waved Palestinian flags and staged a sit-in on a major roadway the president would normally use to reach the Capitol building, just minutes before the joint session of Congress.

Banners read slogans such as “Biden’s legacy is genocide” and “The People Demand: Stop Arming Israel”.

Al-Jazeera reported that Biden’s convoy was forced to take a longer route to get from the White House to the Capitol building, in order to avoid the rallies.

Unprecedented Death Toll

In his address, Biden acknowledged the unprecedented nature of Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza, Anadolu news agency reported.

The US President reportedly said that 30,000 Palestinians were killed in the coastal enclave, stating the war has “taken a greater toll on innocent civilians than all previous wars in Gaza combined.”

He admitted that “most” of the dead “are not Hamas” and that “thousands and thousands” of those who have been killed are “innocents, women and children, girls and boys”.

“Nearly 2 million Palestinians are under bombardment or displacement. Homes destroyed, neighborhoods in rubble, cities in ruin. Families without food, water, medicine. It’s heartbreaking,” Biden added, according to the report.

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Temporary Pier

The president also formally announced that he is directing the US military to erect a temporary pier along the coastline of Gaza to receive “large shipments” of food, water, medicine and temporary shelters for the enclave’s beleaguered population.

“A temporary pier will enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day,” he said. “Israel must do its part. Israel must allow more aid into Gaza, ensure humanitarian workers aren’t caught in the cross-fire,” he reportedly stated.

The US President, however, reiterated the legitimacy of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza. 

“Israel has a right to fo after Hamas,” he said, indicating that the Palestinian Resistance movement should release the captives and surrender “those responsible for October 7”.

Arms Sales to Israel

The US has quietly approved and delivered more than 100 separate foreign military sales to Israel since its attack began on the Gaza Strip, according to a Washington Post report

US officials told members of Congress in a recent classified briefing that this amounts to thousands of precision-guided munitions, small-diameter bombs, bunker busters, small arms and other lethal aid, the newspaper reported on Wednesday.

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The paper stated that the “triple-digit figure, which has not been previously reported, is the latest indication of Washington’s extensive involvement” in the war on Gaza.

It comes even as top US officials and lawmakers express deep reservations about Israel’s military tactics in Gaza, the paper said.

Genocide Continues

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 30,878 Palestinians have been killed, and 72,402 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’ 

(PC, Anadolu, Agencies)

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