Some 7,000 gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square July 26 in the largest Israeli protest against the bombardment of Gaza thus far. Slogans included "Stop the war," "Bring the soldiers back home," and "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies." Several hours before the demonstration was slated to begin, police announced that it was canceled for fear of rocket fire, but it was given the green light when news broke that the ceasefire would be extended. The protest was called by the left-wing Hadash political party and the organizations Combatants for Peace and Parents Circle Families Forum. The more prominent Meretz left-wing party and Peace Now anti-war group opted not to take part in the rally.
Several hundred right-wing activists held a counter-protest at the scene, with a phalanx of police separating the two groups. Rightists also held their own rally outside of the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, in support of the IDF and its campaign in Gaza. (Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, July 26)