U.S. VP Harris calls for 'immediate ceasefire' in Gaza

STORY: "People in Gaza are starving. The conditions are inhumane. And our common humanity compels us to act," Harris said.

The vice president and President Joe Biden have called on Israel to do more to protect the civilian population of Gaza and ensure the flow of desperately-needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

The scope of the suffering has provoked outrage among some constituents of Harris and Biden's Democratic Party, including Arab-American voters and Black Christian leaders, who have pressed the White House to demand an immediate cease-fire.

Harris reiterated the administration's support for what she called Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas in the wake of the group's deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israeli communities.

But she added, "given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate cease-fire," which was met with applause and cheers from those at the civil rights commemoration.

Harris on Friday urged Hamas leaders in Cairo to accept terms for what is reported to be a six-week truce proposed by Israel.

The vice president was in Selma, Alabama, at the site of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where, in 1965, African-Americans marched to demand voting rights. The marchers were met with mounted police swinging clubs, attack dogs, and tear gas, in a televised clash that is widely viewed as having forced then-Democratic President Lyndon Johnson to push for what became the Voting Rights Act.