Some 200 left-wing activists marched outside the house of IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz at the Tzahala neighborhood in Tel Aviv Saturday evening, to protest the killing
of civilians in Gaza on Friday.
Protesters march near Halutz's house (Photo: Niv Kalderon)
The demonstrators chanted slogans such as "Tzahala residents, there's a murderer in your neighborhood," and raised signs calling on the government to "put a stop to the murder of civilians" and stating, "Halutz is a killer, the intifada shall prevail." Activists also shouted, "neighbors, ask Halutz why he's killing children and how many."
Dana Olmert, the daughter of Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, also took part in the demonstration.
About 30 policemen arrived at the place to maintain order, but allowed the rally to proceed uninterrupted. Some of the neighborhood's residents, however, were less pleased with the disturbance and squirted water on the protesters from inside their houses.
Letter to Olmert: Stop war crimes
Five human rights organizations sent a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and defense Minister Amir Peretz, calling on them to act immediately in order to put an end to the killing of Palestinian civilians in the territories, and to "uproot the elements that contribute to this killing."
According to the letter, while it is Israel's duty to take all necessary measures in order to protect its citizens, it is however unacceptable for a sovereign state to employ illegal methods, which in some occasions constitute war crimes.
The groups stressed in the letter that one of Israel's obligations, according to humanitarian international law, is to minimize the ramifications of military operation on the civilian population, and to secure the wellbeing and safety of the Palestinian civilians even during battle.