Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked traffic on bridges in Boston and San Francisco during rush hour Thursday morning to call for a cease-fire in Gaza as Israel continues to target Hamas leadership more than a month after the militant group’s deadly incursion into Israel.
On the Boston University bridge, the group IfNotNow, which says it represents members of Boston’s Jewish community, chanted “Cease-fire now!” and demanded that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., support an immediate cease-fire and use her influence to stop the Israeli government’s military action in Gaza.
The protest slowed traffic to a trickle on the bridge, which connects Boston and Cambridge, as the group held signs that said, “Let Gaza Live,” and unfurled a banner across the roadway that read, “Jews say: Ceasefire now.”
“We care about Palestinian lives, we only want to hurt Hamas,” one protester on the bridge told NBC Boston, while another said, “There can’t be peace for Jews unless there is peace for Palestinians.”
Meanwhile, Pro-Palestinian protesters also shut down the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, where President Biden was courting world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
The Arab Resource and Organizing Center planned the demonstration, in which protesters were heard shouting, “Free Palestine” and “We want justice.” Others chained themselves to the bridge or lay in the road covered with sheets smeared with fake blood, FOX2 KTVU reported.
Authorities had closed one lane on the bridge as a preventative measure during the summit, the station reported, citing the California Highway Patrol.
Israel vowed to wipe out Hamas after the militant group launched its Oct. 7 surprise attack, in which at least 1,200 people died in Israel and around 240 were taken captive by militants back to Gaza.
More than 11,200 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.
The protest came as Israeli forces dropped leaflets warning Palestinians to flee parts of southern Gaza, residents said Thursday, signaling a possible expansion of their offensive.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.