Cease-fire protesters removed from Missouri House after interrupting speech by Israeli diplomat
About 30 protesters were removed from the Missouri House of Representatives on Tuesday morning after they disrupted a speech by an Israeli diplomat.
Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, consul general of Israel in Miami, addressed members of both the Missouri House and Senate on Tuesday. He condemned the actions of Hamas.
“Securing our nation has been a persistent challenge for Israel, marred by conflict, including the recent intense and gruesome war with Hamas,” Elbaz-Starinsky said.
Soon after Elbaz-Starinsky mentioned the current war, a group of protesters in one of the House galleries interrupted him, calling for a cease-fire. Some chanted "shame" repeatedly.
Capitol security quickly made the group leave the chamber. The overall protest lasted less than five minutes. Many lawmakers, most of them Republicans, applauded after the protesters were removed.
Capitol Police arrested one protester, Sara Bannoura, on suspicion of trespassing after they said she failed to leave the gallery. She has since been released.
Speaking after they were escorted out, Neveen Ayesh, of the Missouri chapter of American Muslims for Palestine, said the group’s disruption was unplanned.
“We did not have plans of actually disrupting. That's the truth. It just, he began speaking, and it was very triggering, a lot of the things that he was saying,” Ayesh said.
Ayesh said the group, which consists of several organizations, was at the state Capitol in Jefferson City on Tuesday to testify against a series of pro-Israel resolutions that lawmakers are scheduled to hear in the afternoon.
Rallies by Israeli and Palestinian supporters are planned for Tuesday afternoon on the Capitol grounds.
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