As Prime Minister Ehud Olmert urged all Israeli citizens to unite behind the government’s decision to attack the Gaza Strip, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Israeli cities to protest the killings.
Several hundred activists in Tel Aviv rallied on the lawn of the Israeli Defense Ministry, condemning what they called “genocide and war crimes” in the Gaza Strip and urging a return to peace talks. At least five were arrested when police broke up the rally.
Demonstrations were also reported in several Israeli Arab cities in the country’s north, and Israel has placed its police on alert to deal with them. Clashes were reported in East Jerusalem and a rally is planned for Nazareth by the Hadash Party.
Meanwhile, the Balad Party’s chairman condemned Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s decision to launch the strikes, accusing him of “trying to win votes in exchange for Palestinian blood” and calling for him to be tried for war crimes over the killings. Between this and yesterday’s call from the Hatikva Party’s head for Barak to be put on trial for allowing medicine into the strip, Barak seems to have found himself making enemies across the political spectrum.