Some 25 left-wing activists from central Israel protested Tuesday outside the entrance to the Ramat David air force base. They held banners calling to "end war crimes." The protestors called for an immediate ceasefire and release of all prisoners and captives.
The protest was held without authorization. Police arriving at the scene from Migdal Hae'mek took 12 protestors into custody for allegedly disturbing the peace, disrupting traffic, and holding an unauthorized protest.
Yonatan Pollack, one of the protestors who were detained, told Ynet that the demonstration was held adjacent to the air force base because "war crimes are being committed at this base, it is where planes depart to drop bombs on civilians." He said.
Protesters call on pilots to refuse committing 'war crimes' (Photo: Hagai Aharon)
According to Pollack, "we are obliged by law to cease these war crimes; otherwise we shall also be viewed as partners to this crime."
Pollack added that the war in Lebanon is not a do-or-die war, and that it must be stopped. "This is a war of choice that has nothing to do with the abducted soldiers and the effort being made to secure their release, this war is an attempt to redefine the Middle East."
Hagai Matar, a member of the Committee Against War Crimes, also among the protestors, said they had come to block the daily war crimes coming out of the base. He said they had come to demonstrate against the pilots who are guilty of killing innocent civilians and destroying Lebanon's infrastructure.
"We totally object harming civilians on both sides, and it is the IDF that is embarking on a war that is also harming Israeli society." Matar said.
Talking about the arrest, Matar said they had lain down on the road to block the entrance to the base. "When the police force arrived we told them to arrest the war criminals, but they chose to turn us into war criminals."
Police officials said suspects would be investigated and their remand in custody extended by a court of law.
Sharon Roffe-Ofir contributed to the report