'March for Israel': National Guard called in to assist DC police ahead of rally at National Mall

The National Guard will be assisting D.C. Police with crowd control and road closures during a pro-Israeli demonstration planned for Tuesday. 

Organizers of the "March for Israel" say the rally will begin at 1 p.m. on Nov. 14 at National Mall.

A large turnout is expected at the event, which is backed by the Jewish Federations of North America. Organizers say the gates will open at 10 a.m. with a pre-show from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

It’s expected to have a significant impact on traffic. So much so that the D.C. government requested help from the National Guard to manage it. 

Officials say four National Guard teams are being deployed to help redirect traffic and block intersections. It’s not yet clear if they will be armed or unarmed. 

There have been several demonstrations in D.C. since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. 

Less than two weeks ago, thousands attended a pro-Palestinian demonstration organized by the Answer Coalition, an anti-war organizer formed after the 9/11 attacks. More than 300,000 people attended the rally, which started at Freedom Plaza and ended at the White House. 

The demonstrators marched and called for a ceasefire just days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill sending $14.3 billion in federal aid dollars to Israel. The bill was passed by a 226 to 196 vote, with 12 Democrats joining Republicans to pass it.

President Joe Biden in recent days has called for "less intrusive action" by Israeli forces as their ground attacks have intensified, particularly around Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa. 

The facility has been without electricity and water for three days and according to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is "not functioning as a hospital anymore." 

Biden has said the hospital needs to be protected and has pushed Israel to pause fighting in certain areas of Gaza to allow humanitarian aid in. 

Last week, the White House announced that it had secured a second pathway for civilians to flee fighting and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to four-hour daily humanitarian pauses in its assault.

But the destruction continues as Israel continues to accuse Hamas of using hospitals as cover for its fighters, leading to bombardments that have stranded patients in need of critical care with nowhere to turn. 

The brutal fighting began on Oct. 7 when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel that left more than 1,200 dead. About 240 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by Palestinian militants and soon after Israel declared war.

Since then, more than 11,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and minors have been killed, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. About 2,700 people have been reported missing.


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