Protesters clash at UW in Seattle over Mideast conflict

Oct 13, 2023, 7:00 AM | Updated: 7:22 am

Image: Protesters gather at a University of Washington in Seattle protest of the conflict in the Mi...

Protesters gather at a University of Washington in Seattle protest of the conflict in the Middle East on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

On the University of Washington campus in Seattle Thursday, chants of “resistance is justified” rang out as hundreds of protesters on both sides of the Mideast conflict gathered.

KIRO Newsradio’s James Lynch said the demonstration grew to more than 1,000 people at its peak. One pro-Palestinian protester wanted him to know that they need people to understand there is a clear difference between Hamas and the Palestinian people.

Lynch said he did not see any uniformed police, but he knows of some plain-clothes police that are armed and in the crowd. Later, KIRO Newsradio’s Sam Campbell spotted uniformed officers. However, no violence was reported.

Campbell reported that a man draped in an Israeli flag walked through the center of a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators. The man got yelled at and there was a number of people pointing fingers, but nothing physical. By 1:30 p.m., the protest began to clear.

A pro-Palestinian protester told Campbell when asked about the “resistance is justified” chant, that he doesn’t want to see anyone die. He said it’s about holding the Israeli government accountable.

“Labeling every Palestinian as Hamas and calling every Palestinian a terrorist … This is not helping the cause,” one pro-Palestinian protester said, according to KIRO Newsradio. “We’ve been struggling for 75 years and nobody talks about this.”

“This is a disgrace. They are killing women, children, raping our girls. They took our babies into Gaza, pro-Israel protester said Kayla Hajbi, KIRO Newsradio reports. “The fact that people aren’t seeing it for what it is is disgusting.”

Ozi Goldstein, who is Jewish and pro-Palestinian stressed he does not support the actions of Hamas, but he does support the Palestinian people as a whole.

“My Jewish values teach me to oppose apartheid, oppose occupation, oppose oppression of the Palestinian people and support their right to resist occupation,” Goldstein said to KIRO Newsradio. “Fundamentally, this is an oppressed people rising up against occupation.”

According to The Associated Press, the Israeli military pulverized the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with airstrikes and kept blocking deliveries of food, water, fuel and electricity Thursday ahead of a possible ground invasion as Palestinians tried to stock up on supplies.

Israel said that nothing would be allowed into Gaza until the release of around 150 hostages taken captive by Hamas during an unprecedented surprise attack Saturday into Israel that also left hundreds killed.

The war, which has claimed at least 2,700 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contributing: Steve Coogan; The Associated Press

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