D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said Monday that the National Guard will be assisting local police at the March for Israel scheduled for Tuesday.
At a press conference Monday, Bowser said that the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will be assisted by the National Guard at some traffic points during the March for Israel, which she said is expected to have tens of thousands of people in attendance. She said that she was briefed on the demonstration and that officials will continue to monitor the event.
“They continue, we continue to monitor,” she said. “We expect a large gathering. We are paying attention to numbers of buses that are coming that are I think we can expect in the tens of thousands of people.”
She said while organizers have labeled it has a march, the event will actually be a rally at the National Mall. She did not say whether there would be any counter protesters at the event.
Ahead of Tuesday, MPD announced that there will be parking restrictions and street closures around the National Mall due to First Amendment demonstrations. The police department said that motorists could “encounter possible delays if operating in the vicinity of this event and may wish to consider alternative route” and warned drivers to “proceed with caution” due to expected pedestrian traffic.
The Jewish Federations of North America is working with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations for its pro-Israel event on Tuesday. Gates at the National Mall will open at 10 a.m. and the event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., according to the organizers.
The Washington Post reported that according to a permit submitted to the National Park Service, the organizers are expecting 100,000 attendees to show up in support of Israel as it continues its month-long war with militant group Hamas. Hamas militants launched a deadly surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, leaving more than 1,200 dead.
According to a post online, the march intends to show support for Israel, the 240 hostages taken by Hamas during its Oct. 7 surprise attack and to condemn antisemitism. Since the attack and Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, antisemitism has been on the rise in the United States.
The planned pro-Israel rally comes after thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters marched across D.C. earlier this month to call for a ceasefire and an end to U.S. support for Israel.