Nine people were arrested Thursday morning during a protest held by a Jewish activist group as they allegedly blocked the doors of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's San Francisco office, the organization said.
About 20 members of IfNotNow, a group that is made up of Jewish Americans and has chapters across the country, allegedly blocked the doors to Feinstein's office at 1 Post St. for nearly two hours starting at 9:30 a.m., leaders of IfNotNow said.
The protest was organized to demand that Feinstein condemn what they said is violence toward Palestinian protesters in Gaza at the hands of Israeli military forces during the Great March of Return, a large-scale protest that began in late March, in which Palestinians demanded an end to Israeli occupation of Gaza.
Although Feinstein is in Washington D.C. this week, the protesters sought to speak to a staffer, but when they were refused the group blocked the elevator hall and read the names of the 31 Palestinian protesters who they say were killed by Israeli forces within the past two weeks.
In addition to the 31 killed, thousands have been injured in the Gaza protests, according to IfNotNow.
"We know that Senator Feinstein has spoken out against the U.S. embassy move from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem and the demolition of Palestinian villages - oppressive policies that harm Palestinians and Israelis. We commend her for that. But Senator Feinstein cannot pick and choose when she stands up for Palestinians and Israelis," IfNotNow organizer David Granberg said in a statement. "As American Jews and as her constituents, we demand that she condemn Israel's use of deadly force against Palestinian protesters."
According to IfNotNow, the Palestine protests are nonviolent but protesters are being met with live fire from Israeli snipers.
"Palestinians in Gaza came out by the thousands today to protest for their freedom. They were met with more live ammunition, more teargas, and more violence. If Senator Feinstein does nothing, this is going to continue happening," IfNotNow member Adam Hirsch said in a statement.
A call to Feinstein's San Francisco office was not immediately returned.
This afternoon, however, Feinstein, in reference to a news article about the deadly clashes at the Israeli-Gaza border said on social media, "This violence is exceptionally destructive for both the Palestinians and the state of Israel. It must end. Violence is not the pathway to reconciliation."
According to the IfNotNow, a total of 32 American Jews have been arrested in the last 10 days in protests condemning the violence in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, in addition to San Francisco.