Nov 13, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Capitol security enhanced for pro-Israel march in D.C.

U.S. Capitol building. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

U.S. Capitol security will be boosted once again on Tuesday for a massive pro-Israel rally that is prompting extraordinary security preparations across the government.

Why it matters: Capitol Hill has repeatedly hunkered down in the month since the Israel-Hamas war began, as large demonstrations related to the conflict have become commonplace in D.C.

  • A protest calling for a ceasefire last month resulted in more than 300 arrests of demonstrators who occupied a House office building.

Driving the news: House sergeant-at-arms William McFarland told lawmakers and congressional staff in a notice on Monday that the Capitol will have "heightened security and an increased police presence" during the March for Israel.

  • The Capitol Police have "not identified any specific or credible threats," McFarland said. The security measures are being taken "out of an abundance of caution," he added.
  • Access to the Capitol will be restricted and D.C. Metropolitan Police announced road closures across the city.
  • The same steps were also taken for a large pro-Palestinian gathering in D.C. last month.

Details: The pro-Israel march, which is reportedly expected to draw tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of attendees, is planned for Tuesday afternoon at the National Mall.

  • Several lawmakers are slated to speak at the event, according to a speaker list obtained by Axios. These include: Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Reps. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.).
  • The speakers will also include several members of congressional leadership: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
  • Also among the scheduled speakers is Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Go deeper: The Israel-Hamas conflict hits city halls

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