Fulton County 'Stand with Israel Day' proclamation angers pro-Palestinian activists

Tensions rose at a Fulton County Commissioners' meeting after pro-Palestinian activists protested the county's decision to show support to Israel.

At Wednesday's meeting, Commissioners Bob Ellis and Brigid Thorne sponsored a proclamation declaring the day "Stand with Israel Day" in the county.

Speaking at the meeting, Thorne described the attack on Oct. 7 by Hamas as "pure evil."

"We cannot stand with evil. So as a Christian and with my faith. I've read how this has been prophesied thousands of years ago - that Israel will be this tiny country that will be under constant attack," she said, asking the county to "stand with Israel."

The resolution stated that the county "supported Israeli's right to defend itself and protect its citizens from indiscriminate violence and terrorism."

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In accepting the proclamation, American Jewish Committee regional director Dov Wilker argued the Israeli government's war was not against the residents of Palestine. 

"This is a war against a terrorist group that slaughters their own," he said.

Activists watching the meeting responded by shouting "Free Palestine," and then condemned the county's show of support. 

"It is outrageous that you commissioners would bring forward a proclamation in support of a racist apartheid state that is committing genocide in Gaza and has declared the indigenous Palestinian people ‘human animals,'" one of the activists told the community during the public comment section of the meeting.

The proclamation and response comes days after an explosion at a Gaza hospital killed hundreds, triggering protests around the world.

Speaking after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden pledged his support for the country while pleading for Israel to not let rage over the attack consume them. 

"After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States. And while we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes," Biden said.

Biden emerged from the day trumpeting food, water and medicine poised to move into Gaza after a lengthy deadlock. Israel cut off the flow of aid and fuel to the Gaza Strip after the Hamas attack that killed 1,400 civilians.

The Biden Administration plans to ask Congress for more than $2 billion in combined additional aid for Israel and Ukraine. Biden on Wednesday also announced $100 million in aid to Gaza and the West Bank.

Roughly 2,800 Palestinians have been reported killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza. An additional 1,200 people are believed to be buried under the rubble, alive or dead, health authorities said. Those numbers predate the explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.