About two dozen supporters of Palestine on Monday night took to the streets in downtown Santa Rosa to protest Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip.

North Coast Coalition for Palestine members and others held candles in a "vigil for peace" along the curb of Old Courthouse Square, waving signs with messages, such as "Enough Suffering in Gaza" and "Israel Stop Your Genocide of the Palestinians."

Santa Rosa bookkeeper Therese Mughannam-Walrath, who was an infant when her family fled Palestine in 1948, said she came to protest President Barack Obama's statement that Israel has the right to defend itself.

"The Palestinians should not be shooting missiles at civilians," Mughannam-Walrath said. "On the other hand, they are imprisoned."

Santa Rosa school board member Laura Gonzalez said she hoped people passing by would see the vigil and want to learn more. She said most Americans don't know a lot about the long and complicated history of Palestine and Israel.

A similar protest was held Friday by about 40 people in the rain. The group will convene again at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Old Courthouse Square and at noon Friday outside of Santa Rosa Plaza on B Street.