Gaza hostage posters torn down outside US politician's office

Vandals tore down posters of Israeli hostages hung on the wall outside the Capitol Hill office of a Democratic politician on 4 July, his office said on Friday.

Congressman Brad Schneider called the the damage "a vile act of hate".

The posters included photos of more than 100 people, eight of them Americans, taken as hostages by Hamas during the 7 October 2023 attack on southern Israel.

Capitol police said they were investigating.

Mr Schneider, a pro-Israel Democrat from Illinois, posted a photo on Twitter/X showing the posters shredded and thrown across the hall.

"This was a shameful act on any day, but especially on July 4, our country’s Independence Day," he wrote.

"Sadly, it was but one of many hateful, un-American actions that took place across the country on the day we celebrate freedom and democracy."

The incident comes less than a week after pro-Palestinian protesters held an overnight rally outside Mr Schneider's Highland Park home in Illinois.

Mr Schneider said masked demonstrators banged drums, blew horns and screamed antisemitic chants outside his home.

Police dispersed a crowd of around 40 people after several complaints from neighbours.

Mr Schneider said such actions "play directly into the hands of Hamas terrorists enabling them to continue to hold hostage not only those they kidnapped from Israel, but all civilians in Gaza as well."

The war was triggered by Hamas's unprecedented attack on Israel on 7 October in which Hamas-led gunmen killed about 1,200 people and took 251 others back to Gaza as hostages. Over 100 were released during a November cease-fire.

At least 38,010 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza as a result of Israel's offensive, according to the territory's Hamas-run health ministry.