Some 200 people assembled outside the official residence of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem, and urged him to order the military to halt the fighting. "Our main message is – 'Children in Gaza and Sderot want to live'," said Ofer Neiman, one of the rally's organizers.
Protesters in Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)
Neiman explained that he and his friends sought to draw attention to the suffering of civilians on both sides. "We call not only for a ceasefire with Hamas, but for a comprehensive truce with our neighbors in order to resolve the core issues and find a way out of the cycle of bloodshed.
"The notion that Israel is completely right and the Palestinians are completely wrong is false and gives legitimacy to anti-humanitarian acts in the Gaza Strip," he stated.
According to Neiman, among the rally's participants were several Sderot residents who are members of the "Different Voice" organization, which calls for dialogue with the Palestinians in Gaza.
'There are alternatives to fighting'
Meanwhile in Tel Aviv locals went out on their bikes to protest the operation in Gaza and the rocket fire on Israel. Hagai Matar told Ynet: "Some 40 bike riders gathered at the Rabin Square. This is a routine activity to protest the occupation, but we took this opportunity to call for an end to the fighting."
Matar said that "disproportionate" police forces attempted to forcefully disperse the protest.
Biking for truce in Tel Aviv (Photo: Activestills)
"We left the place and reassembled somewhere else, rode through Rothschild Boulevards and Allenby Street and spoke to the passersby," he said. "We wanted to help people become aware of the complexity of the situation and of the fact that there are alternatives to the fighting, that dialogue is possible."
Matar noted that the group did not only sympathize with one side of the conflict. "We believe that the solution is dialogue. This is the only way to stop the suffering. The fact that we have been able to spread the message is very important to us, and it is important to keep that up," he concluded.