July 26, 2014
Thousands assembled at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Saturday evening for what became the largest protest against the Israeli military operation in Gaza thus far. According to official estimates some 7,000 protesters attended.
Meanwhile, a smaller group rallied in support of the operation in Gaza. The police served as a barrier between the groups to prevent clashes.
The former demonstration was organized by Hadash, the leftist political party, and the organizations Combatants for Peace and The Parents Circle Families Forum. Several hours before the protest was slated to begin the police announced that it was canceled for fear of rocket fire, but once news that the cease-fire would be extended surfaced, the demonstration was once again given the green light.
Protesters at the event called for an immediate end to hostilities and for the prompt resumption of peace talks. In one of the plaza's corners memorial candles were lit among pictures of fallen - both Israelis and Palestinians. Two Philippine women who attended the protest laid a bouquet of flowers in memory of the IDF casualties. "We aren't a part of the demonstration," one of them explained. "We came to show our gratitude to Israel for its help with the casualties of the typhoon in the Philippines last year."
Among the people to give speeches at the event were Capt. Assaf Ya'akobovich (Res.) and Salim Tabib of Ramallah. The two are active in an organization devoted to finding a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They called for both sides to immediately put down their arms.