Pro-Palestinian rally in Washington pushes for end to US aid to Israel
- Pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington
- More than 1,000 people rallied holding Palestinian flags
- Protesters said they will stand against any politician that continues to fund weapons to Israel
On Saturday, more than 1,000 people rallied in Washington in support of Palestinians and calling for an end to US aid to Israel. The demonstration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial came following the agreement of a ceasefire that ended 11 days of intense fighting between Isreal and Hamas, the Islamist movement in the Gaza strip.
A 39-year-old Washington lawyer Sharif Silmi, who participated in the rally, said that he stood in the crowd where many protesters held Palestinian flags, AFP reported. "We are hoping to send a clear message to the United States government that the days of supporting the Israeli state without repercussions are over," he added.
Silmi said they will stand against any politician that continues to fund weapons to Israel. "We will oppose them, we will vote against them, we will fund their opponents until we vote them out of office."
Lama Alahmad, a resident of neighbouring Virginia who is of Palestinian origin, said US public opinion is turning in favour of the Palestinian cause. "There is a huge change" going on in the US with regard to the Palestinian cause seeking a sovereign homeland," he said.
Alahmad, a 43-year-old stay-at-home, who grew up in the United Arab Emirates before moving to the US around 20years ago, said that the Palestinians just want the world to recognize that they are human beings too and not terrorists.
Silmi stood firm that there was now broad opposition in the US to how Israel treats the Palestinians, which he likened to apartheid in South Africa.
"People have now woken up, and we're resisting. Whether young Jews, young Muslims, young Blacks, young whites, there is a generational shift. And people are working across ethnic groups, racial groups, to work for change and freedom and liberation for Palestinian people," Silmi said.