Over 5,000 Israelis took the streets of Tel Aviv to protest Operation Protective edge, which is now in its 19th day and has seen 40 IDF soldiers
and over 1,000 Palestinians killed.
"Enough killing" protesters shouted in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, while others held signs reading "Revenge is not policy". The leftists were met head on by a counter-protest led by rightwing Israelis, and hundreds of police officers were present at the scene and prevented clashes between the two sides.
Left wing protest in Tel Aviv against the military operation in Gaza (Photo: Motti Kimchi) The rightwing protesters attempted to confront the anti-Gaza operation protesters, leading the police to shut down the adjacent Ibn Gvirol St.
Right wing counter protest in Tel Aviv (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
For over an hour the protests almost failed to take place, after the police told organizers that ongoing rocket fire makes large public gathering dangerous. However, after Israel chose to extend a humanitarian ceasefire
expected to end at 8 pm until midnight, the police reversed their decision and permitted the protests from taking place.
"Israel Police works to preserve the values of free speech and democracy, however the current circumstances, our commitment to saving human life takes precedence," the police initially said in a statement, prompting organizers to call of the demonstrations.
The move led hundreds of people to return to their homes, despite the fact the protests eventually took place.
In past protests against the Gaza demonstration, clashes between the sides were reported. In a protest last Saturday some 20 people from both the left and right were arrested, and a protest two weeks ago saw a group of rightwing activists attack an anti-Gaza operation protest in Tel Aviv's HaBima Square.
Right and left wing counter protests at HaBima Square, Tel Aviv (Motti kimchi)
The protesters from the left said they were protesting against the "Gaza offensive," as they described it and said they opposed the government's policy, and not the IDF and soldiers themselves, as rightists have claimed.
Last Saturday, protests in Haifa organized by the Jewish-Arab communist party Hadash saw violent reactions from rightists holding a counter protests, with some yelling "Death to Arabs."