July 19 (Manila)

Chanting "We want peace in the Middle East!," about  100 protesters marched to the Israeli embassy in Manila's central  business district to protest against Israel's war on Lebanon and Gaza.

 The protesters were with organizations that formed the Stop the War  Campaign, a broad coalition of civil society organizations, social  movements, labor unions, political parties, human rights, women's,  students, religious and other organizations. The coalition lays the responsibility behind the current escalation  squarely on the Israeli state, its primary ally the United States, and  all those who actively support or tacitly tolerate its actions.

Against the wishes of Israel and the United States, the group is  calling for an immediate ceasefire in the region. It also calls on the  Philippine government to immediately attend to the needs of 34,000  Filipino workers in Lebanon, whom the coalition contends, are also  victims of Israel's "collective punishment" of Lebanon.

It demands that the Philippine government severs diplomatic ties with  Israel until it agrees to a ceasefire and initiate moves at the UN  General Assembly to stop the war. The coalition said it is planning more protests, educational meetings,  and other actions in the days ahead