Police detained 16 left-wing activists as they were trying to cross into Gaza on Sunday to mark the one year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead.
Chief Superintendent Shimon Nahmani, commander of the Sderot police station, said the leftists held a rally without prior authorization.
"We detained them and had to employ a reasonable amount of force, but we didn’t beat anyone," he said. "They are currently being interrogated at the station, and may be charged with entering a closed military zone without a permit and holding an illegal demonstration."
Several dozen left-wing activists took part in the protest against the Israeli blockade on the Hamas-ruled territory, claiming it was hindering Gaza's rehabilitation.
Adar Grievsky of the "Anarchist against the Wall" group said, "We began walking southward on the beach towards Gaza, but near Zikim large police and IDF forces prevented us from crossing (into Gaza).
"A year after Israel killed 1,400 people during the Cast Lead war, Israel continues to perpetuate destruction and suffering by preventing rehabilitation and denying the transfer of construction materials to Gaza," said the activist.
According to Grievsky, the purpose of the march was to "convey the message that as citizens living in this country, we find the situation intolerable and we must resist it."
One of the protestors claimed that one of the leftists was beaten by police.
Shmulik Hadad contributed to the report