A large group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched in West Los Angeles on Saturday, calling for the end to Israel’s bombardment and occupation of Gaza.
The marchers gathered at the Los Angeles Israeli Consulate as the Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 9,448, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.
In Israel, more than 1,400 people have been killed, most of them in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that started the war, according to the Associated Press.
As the war between Israel and Hamas marks nearly a month now, anger and frustration over the conflict is growing in Southern California.
Saturday’s march was organized by BAMN, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary.
Marchers in L.A. were joined in solidarity by thousands of others across the globe from Washington to Milan to Paris — all calling for peace.
The march began at the Israeli consulate on the 11700 block of Wilshire Boulevard in Brentwood before ending at the Federal Building in Westwood.
L.A. demonstrators called Israel’s military offensive in Gaza a “genocidal invasion and occupation” that must be ended.
“It’s always been a land grab, continued settlement expansion, and really, an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people,” said Sam Suleiman, a demonstrator. “Everybody here, everybody in the world is calling for a ceasefire and the ending of this genocide.”
“We’re here and marching in solidarity with the March on Washington today, calling for an end to the occupation of Gaza,” said Stephanie Gutierrez, a marcher with BAMN. “We’re calling for freedom to the Palestinian people and we are a part of this global movement.”
On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back against growing U.S. pressure for a “humanitarian pause” in the war to protect civilians and allow more aid into Gaza, insisting there would be no temporary cease-fire until the roughly 240 hostages held by Hamas are released.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his third trip to Israel since the war began, reiterating American support for Israel’s campaign to crush Hamas after its brutal Oct. 7 attack in Israel. He also echoed President Joe Biden’s calls for a brief halt in the fighting to address the worsening humanitarian crisis.
Alarm has grown over spiraling Palestinian deaths and deepening misery for civilians from weeks of Israeli bombardment and a widening ground assault that risks even greater casualties. Overwhelmed hospitals say they are nearing collapse, with medicine and fuel running low under the Israeli siege. About 1.5 million people in Gaza, or 70% of the population, have fled their homes, the United Nations said Friday.
Palestinians are increasingly desperate for the most basic supplies, according to AP reports.
The average Gaza resident is now surviving on two pieces of bread per day, much of it made from stockpiled U.N. flour, said Thomas White, Gaza director for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees. Demands for drinking water are also growing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.