The demonstrators called on Israel's leadership and army to end military operations in the Strip and talk to Hamas leaders instead.
Protestors face police. (Photo: Yaron Brenner)
Participants in the rally held up signs reading "No despair Gaza, we'll end the occupation" and "Don't worry Ehud, Bush will be meeting you at The Hague." During the demonstration some protestors clashed with police officers who secured the scene of the rally and prevented the leftists from approaching the Defense Ministry's gates.
Yona Bar Gur, who is a member of the Israeli-Palestinian bereaved families' forum and who lost his paratrooper son 11 ago said Israel should be talking to Hamas.
"We don't need to talk to Hamas about recognizing Israel. It would be enough to talk to them about a ceasefire…what I'm most saddened about is that all of us know the solution, and the only question left is how many will die until then, 50,000 or 500,000," he said.
Another demonstrator, Yaniv Shahar from Tel Aviv, said he opposed the "war crimes in Gaza."
"This is a country and government that kills children so it has no moral right to exist," he said. "I wasn't in Sderot, but I have no doubt that the moment Israel stops killing in Gaza, the fire on Sderot and Ashkelon will stop."
'We can understand why Palestinians are screwed up'
Demonstrator Shira Pinchas added: "The IDF is killing innocent civilians. We are being told that Israel awaits the ground operation being formulated, but for the time being the IDF is doing whether it wishes."
"The army creates the problem and then tries to eliminate it," she said. "The demonstration here is not against Sderot – I visited the town last year and I saw what they're going through. We should be asking ourselves why they're firing Qassams."
The protest was also attended by Atir al-Ubeidi, a resident of northern Israel who described himself as an anarchist.
"We object to the IDF operation in Gaza and to the 'holocaust' Israel promises us," he said. "We object to the IDF's immoral approach. What's happening in Sderot is terrible, but 50 casualties a day in Gaza are no small matter. I hate Hamas just like I hate the IDF, but we can understand why the Palestinians are screwed up – they live under terrible conditions without breathing space."
Representatives of the Peace Now movement also arrived to protest near the Defense Ministry, yet they stood separately from radical left-wingers.