Hundreds arrested after gathering at Capitol complex to protest Israel-Hamas war

Alex Wong/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) -- Approximately 300 people were arrested by Capitol Police during a large-scale demonstration on Wednesday against the Israel-Hamas war, a Capitol Police spokesperson said.

Most were arrested for demonstrating in the Capitol, according to the spokesperson.

Hundreds of people had gathered in and outside of the U.S. Capitol complex on Wednesday before the arrests, calling for an end to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that launched a terror attack in Israel earlier this month.

Some of the demonstrators, organized by a left-wing Jewish group, then entered the Cannon House Office Building at different security entrance points and assembled in the rotunda, the police spokesperson said.

The large-scale demonstration follows a similar event at the White House earlier this week that also resulted in dozens of arrests.

Protesters, like the rest of the public, can legally enter the Capitol complex and only risk issues when they cause a disturbance, according to the police spokesperson.

Police departments from the surrounding areas were called in to help at the complex on Wednesday, including Washington's Metropolitan Police and officers from Virginia, according to law enforcement sources.

Some lawmakers, who have offices in the Cannon House Office Building, chided the demonstrators.

"The irony is the US Constitution protects these protesters freedom to be absolute idiots," Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., wrote in a post on X.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at 11:40PM by Luke Barr, ABC News Permalink