Small groups of left-wing Israelis have gathered to express their dissatisfaction over what they called the IDF’s excessive use of force in Friday’s Gaza border violence, in which at least 15 Palestinians were killed and another 1,400 were injured.On Sunday, around 300 protesters stood with banners and drums, chanting loudly on King George Street in Tel Aviv, across from the Likud’s headquarters. A significantly smaller counter-protest was held across the street. Those protesters waved Israeli flags and shouted “Israel belongs to Jews.” A small group of Arab Israelis protested in Jaffa at the same time on Sunday.Another protest took place on Saturday at Yad Mordechai, near Gaza’s border fence. The protest was organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace, a feminist “anti-occupation” organization, and attracted around 150 Israelis to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.The group of protesters, spread out over a main intersection in Yad Mordechai, may have looked small and unorganized, but protester Ofek Ravid saw it as a positive turnout.
“You have to keep in mind that we are all the way in the south, and it’s Shabbat,” said the student from Haifa. Ravid also speculated that more people would have come out if the protest hadn’t been organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace, an organization known to be extremely left-wing.The protesters held up banners saying “Free Gaza,” “Stop the Massacre” and “Gaza is Dying” in both Hebrew and English, waving them at cars passing the cross section of the kibbutz.One car slowed down when he saw the protesters and yelled out the window: “We killed 20? We should kill 20 more!” One protester, Omer, directed his sign at the car. “I wish we would protest more radically, blocking the roads for example,” Omer said after the car had passed. Omer is a student at Tel Aviv University and an activist in the West Bank on weekends. “I don’t believe in the killing of innocent civilians,” he said.
Palestinian experts warn further worsening situation in Gaza Strip, April 1, 2018 (Reuters)