Protesters blocked I-5 in downtown Seattle at Pine Street

Jan 6, 2024, 2:04 PM | Updated: Jan 8, 2024, 11:08 am

protest I-5...

Protesters block a portion of Interstate 5 in Seattle on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024. (Photo: Jason Rantz, AM 770 KTTH)

(Photo: Jason Rantz, AM 770 KTTH)

Protesters blocked multiple lanes of northbound I-5 lanes near Pine Street in downtown Seattle Saturday.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) officials said at the time that the road was completely blocked, as seen on traffic camera footage.

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The Seattle Police Department said the situation was causing a traffic backup and advised commuters to avoid the area.

Washington State Patrol said they are headed to the scene, “to handle.”

The protesters dispersed around 4:45 p.m.

Demonstrators chanted “free, free Palestine” and “hey hey, ho ho, the occupation has got to go.”

Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel killed around 1,200 people, and some 250 others were taken hostage. It was the worst such attack in Israel’s history.

Since then the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Saturday a total of 22,722 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s subsequent assault. The count does not differentiate between combatants and civilians.

Israel has held Hamas responsible for civilian casualties, saying the group embeds itself within Gaza’s civilian infrastructure. Still, international criticism of Israel’s conduct has grown because of the rising civilian death toll.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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Protesters blocked I-5 in downtown Seattle at Pine Street