Protestors clash in Kirkland over Hamas attack

Oct 8, 2023, 7:45 PM | Updated: Oct 9, 2023, 1:52 pm

Hamas attack Kirkland...

A protest turned violent in Kirkland Sunday evening as pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters clashed. (Kate Stone/KIRO Newsradio)

(Kate Stone/KIRO Newsradio)

A demonstration in Kirkland over the growing conflict following the Hamas attack turned violent Sunday evening, as pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters clashed.

Kirkland Police told KIRO Newsradio’s Kate Stone that the groups “couldn’t keep it peaceful,” and they had to use King County Metro buses to separate the two groups.

More on Israel-Hamas conflict: Live updates | Israel taking ‘significant military steps’ in response to Hamas attack

Nir is Israeli and said at least one of his friends is among the hundreds killed so far, saying that Hamas “murders everyone they see, everyone, it is horrific.”

Abby, a local Jewish supporter of Palestine, says it is a fight against freedom and ethnic cleansing.

“What happens every day is that Israelis on the ground, in the military and settlers, are actively coming into their villages burning down buildings, setting cars on fire, attacking people,” she said.

Bisan Barkouti is a Palestinian living in Seattle, and she said there were physical altercations before Kirkland police used pepper balls to break it up.

“A few of the protestors on the Israeli side actually came up to us, spit on us, I got punched,” Barkouti said.

Video from eyewitnesses shows several physical altercations on both sides, but no major injuries were reported.

Police closed down several streets in an attempt to control the situation.

The rally in Kirkland came to be after Gaza militants, and their controlling group Hamas, launched a large-scale surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, has left hundreds of Israelis dead, according to CNN, which prompted an immediate response of retaliatory Israeli airstrikes.

Israel formally declared war on Sunday.

In Washington state, officials representing both political parties quickly condemned the surprise attacks by Hamas on Israel.

Both Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell followed the U.S. State Department’s rhetoric in describing the violence as terrorism. Republican state Congressman J.T. Wilcox called for bipartisan support of Israel, saying it’s “critical we bury our political differences and tame the chaos.”

The attacks have left nearly 1,300 people dead since Saturday, according to CBS, at least 11 of them Americans.

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