On the afternoon of January 2, 2009, at Broadway and Front Street, a demonstration was staged with approximately 500 demonstrators holding signs and chanting "No Justice No Peace."
"These demos have been staged to inform the American public about the ongoing massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Israel," said Zahi Damuni, founder of Al-Awda, aka the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition.
The group's aim is to encourage Palestinians to return to the Gaza Strip and gain complete control of all the territories that, under the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan, were subsumed as part of the creation of the state of Israel. Damuni also stated that today’s demonstration marks the third in San Diego; there were also three demonstrations in Los Angeles and many more around the world.
The local and international demonstrations follow the end of a cease-fire initiated in June 2008. On November 4, 2008, Israeli troops crossed into the Gaza Strip near the town of Deir al-Balah. The Israeli military was targeting a tunnel that was to be used to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Four Israeli soldiers were injured and six Hamas fighters were killed.