Three dozen D.C. National Guardsmen have been activated to help Washington, D.C. law enforcement and first responders during Tuesday’s March for Israel on the National Mall, a Pentagon spokeswoman told reporters.

Thirty of them are assisting with traffic control until 7 p.m., Sabrina Singh said, and six more from the D.C. National Guard civil support team are supporting the fire department.

All troops are unarmed and under the control of the D.C. Guard, she added.

Organizers expected a crowd of roughly 100,000 for the march — in support of Israel following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on the country — to call for the release of more than 200 hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and to denounce rising incidents of antisemitism in the U.S.

Congressional leaders including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. spoke to the assembled crowd during the protest, which was scheduled to end at 3 p.m.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.

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