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Protesters arrested outside pro-Israel private event in Jefferson City


Jefferson City police say protesters were arrested at a private event held Tuesday by a pro-Israeli group in an incident that involved Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft.

Police say in a news release that Ainslee Harkins, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri, was arrested for trespassing after going into the event uninvited in the 100 block of East High Street. The event was held by the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee after Israeli official Maor Elbaz-Starinsky addressed a joint session of the Missouri General Assembly.

Missouri Capitol Police arrested a protester, Sarah Bannoura, 28, for trespassing when she refused to leave the gallery during the speech. She was released after her removal.

Police say Christopher Henry, 50, of St. Louis was also arrested after protesters surrounded Ashcroft outside when he arrived at the Tuesday night AIPAC event. Officers were called to the location at about 4:40 p.m. on reports that demonstrators were blocking the road and the entrance to the event.

Harkins and Henry were allowed to post bond, police say.

The Israeli government has been the subject of protests for its war against Hamas in Gaza in response to the Oct. 7 terror attack that killed about 1,200 Israelis.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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