San Francisco police arrest 70 protesters at Israeli consulate

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -San Francisco police arrested 70 pro-Palestinian demonstrators on trespassing charges on Monday after they entered the lobby of the building housing the Israeli consulate and refused to leave, police said.

"Officers developed probable cause to arrest 70 suspects who refused to vacate the building," police said in a statement. No injuries were reported.

Police led protesters out of the building one by one and loaded them into police vehicles, their hands bound by zip ties, according to a Reuters witness.

Protesters, who were voicing opposition to Israel's incursion into Gaza, had said they planned to stay until forcibly removed, the San Francisco Chronicle reported from the scene.

A group called the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network said on Instagram that 100 people had participated in the protest. The network, which says its membership is Jewish, posted images of banners they hung such as, "Committing a genocide makes Jews less safe; Not in my name!"

The Israeli consulate said it was "appalled, but not surprised" by the protesters who entered the lobby of the building where the consulate is located. The Israeli statement labeled the protesters "pro-Hamas rioters." The consulate added that the police responded rapidly.

At least 36,479 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's eight-month-old assault on the Gaza Strip, say health officials in the Hamas-ruled enclave. The war began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and abducting some 250 others, of whom some 120 are believed to remain in captivity in Gaza, according to Israeli tallies.

(Reporting by Carlos Barria in San Francisco, Kanishka Singh in Washington and Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, California; Editing by Josie Kao and Gerry Doyle)