An American Human Rights group organized and sponsored a demonstration in front of the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco Monday to protest the Israeli offensive against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, which started on June 28.
The group calls itself “Act Now to Stop War & End Racism” (ANSWER) and is based in Los Angeles.

Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive, called “Summer Rains,” army forces have destroyed 3 bridges and a power plant, killed and wounded several residents and destroyed several buildings. The 1.4 million Gaza residents have had their basic necessities for sustaining life severely curtailed. The United Nations has warned about a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

This is in addition to the existing condition. Currently 9000 Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails, 1000 of which are "administrative detainees" – held without charges or trial. A considerable number of the remaining 8,000 prosecuted on confessions obtained through torture.

Local and International observers stress that the offensive against the Gaza Strip did not start after the military attack carried out by three Palestinian resistance groups June 26 that left  five Israeli soldiers dead and another soldier captured and taken to Gaza Strip.

"Since Israel withdrew from Gaza in September 2005 ‘til today, the estimates run between 7,000 and 9,000 heavy artillery shells have been shot and fired into Gaza," Normal Finkelstein, professor of Political science at DePaul University in Chicago, said.

One such incident happened June 12 when Huda Ghalia, a young Palestinian girl picnicking on a Gaza beach with her family, lost her father, step-mother, and 5 siblings to an Israeli shell.

The group reported that their protest was countered by a pro-Israeli demonstration at the same place.

“The protest was loud and spirited – and well it should be with the festering outrage of American complicity in such atrocities. The shout out in support of the Palestinians out shouted the counter demonstration held at the same spot at the same time,” the group said.