Anti-war demonstrators protest against the war in Gaza at a rally in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Several thousand Israelis from left-wing parties and activist groups rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening (August 16) in support of peace with the Palestinians. Israel's military offensive in Gaza has had broad public support within Israel. However, the prospect of a long-term truce that improves Hamas' economic or diplomatic standing has drawn misgivings among Israelis and within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightist government. Some Israeli opposition figures point to the war, and the intractable relationship with Hamas, as cause to rekindle peace talks with Abbas that Netanyahu froze over the Palestinian leader's pact with Hamas. It's a point of view some protesters Saturday agreed with. "We came to demonstrate in favour of a political solution between Israel and the Palestinians. We think the war is not helping anyone, is harming both Israel and the Palestinians, and the way to solve the conflict both in Gaza and in the West Bank is only by reaching a political agreement on the basis of the two-state solution," Yariv Oppenheimer, Director-General of the Israeli activist group, Peace Now, said. The United Nations said 425,000 of the 1.8 million population of Gaza have been displaced by the war, which has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians and, on the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and three civilians.