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Pro-Palestinian protesters interrupt Joe Biden’s church speech, demanding immediate ceasefire | US News

Joe Biden was interrupted during a speech at a church on Monday by pro-Palestinian protesters who demanded: “Ceasefire now”.

The US president was giving a speech to a church in Charleston, South Carolina, where an avowed white supremacist shot nine black parishioners in 2015.

“If you really care about the lives lost here, then you should honour lives lost and call for a ceasefire in Palestine,” one protester shouted, before others chanted: “Ceasefire now”.

The president attempted to calm the situation, holding up his hands while saying: “That’s alright.”

As security removed the protesters from the church, he said: “I understand their passion, and I’ve been quietly working, quietly working with the Israeli government to get them to reduce and significantly get out of Gaza.”

According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, more than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the deadly 7 October attacks on Israel by Hamas fighters, which killed more than 1,200 and triggered the Israeli assault.

Protesters Demand Ceasefire In Gaza At President Joe Biden Speech ** STORY AVAILABLE, CONTACT SUPPLIER** Featuring: President Joe Biden Where: Charleston, South Carolina, United States When: 08 Jan 2024 Credit: TheNews2/Cover Images  (Cover Images via AP Images)
TheNews2/Cover Images (Cover Images via AP)

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The speech came as his secretary of state, Antony Blinken, continued his tour of the Middle East amid fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spread into a wider conflict.

He said on Monday that four key Arab nations and Turkey had agreed to begin planning for the reconstruction and governance of Gaza once the conflict ends.

He said Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey would consider participating in and contributing to “day after” scenarios for the Palestinian territory, which has been devastated by three months of deadly Israeli bombardment.

The countries had previously resisted US calls for post-war planning to begin, insisting that there must be a ceasefire and a sharp reduction in civilian suffering first.

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