Protesters block Los Angeles freeway calling for Israel-Gaza ceasefire

Los Angeles, California - Dozens of protesters brought a Los Angeles freeway to a rush-hour halt Wednesday calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Protestors halted traffic on a Los Angeles freeway on Wednesday as they urged for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.
Protestors halted traffic on a Los Angeles freeway on Wednesday as they urged for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.  © REUTERS

The activists linked arms and sat down to block traffic, causing backups that stretched for miles on the city's already overcrowded road network.

IfNotNow, a group that says it is "American Jews organizing our community to end US support for Israel's apartheid system," placed a giant menorah on the roadway and sang, calling for a "ceasefire now."

"As Jews, we cannot sit by as the people of Gaza are starved and slaughtered [in] our name," the group wrote on social media.

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"We cannot allow business as usual to continue, as Palestinians are murdered with impunity. So we have closed the freeway."

Footage from the sit-in showed scuffles breaking out, apparently between protesters and frustrated drivers.

Around an hour after the protest began, California Highway Patrol officers moved in. Officers using zip ties began arresting the protestors and escorting them to waiting patrol cars.

International support for Israel wanes amid relentless bombing of Gaza

Israel's invasion of the Gaza Strip — launched in retaliation for Hamas attacks on October 7 that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials — is now in its third month.

The Hamas-run health ministry says at least 18,600 people, mostly women and children, have been killed by military action that has leveled swathes of civilian infrastructure.

International support for Israel's offensive is waning, with the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly backing a ceasefire resolution and President Joe Biden warning against the "indiscriminate bombing" that is killing civilians.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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