WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — Police and protesters clashed outside Democratic National Committee headquarters Wednesday night during a demonstration for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas, the latest reflection of boiling tensions over the bloody conflict.

A number of Democratic representatives and candidates, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, were inside the building for a campaign reception when their event was interrupted by chanting outside. Inside the Democratic headquarters, police rushed into the reception and directed lawmakers to the basement, according to Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif. Some were later evacuated in police vehicles.

Protesters said they wanted to block entrances and exits to force politicians to encounter their candlelight vigil and their calls for an end to the fighting. Many of them wore black shirts saying “Cease Fire Now.”

However, the situation swiftly devolved.

U.S. Capitol Police said about 150 people were “illegally and violently protesting” in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington. But protesters blamed police for the violence, saying officers rushed them without warning.

“It is shameful the way that nonviolent protesters and members of our community were met with violence tonight," said Dani Noble, who came from Philadelphia for the demonstration. "It is absolutely shameful.”

Capitol Police said six officers were treated for minor injuries and one protester was arrested for assaulting an officer.

The Metropolitan Police Department said its officers also responded to the disturbance. Congressional staffers received an alert telling them no one would be permitted to enter or exit any House office buildings, but authorities later reopened the entrances.

The protest was organized by a coalition of groups, including If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Peace Action, that have spearheaded other demonstrations in Washington and elsewhere.

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