NICOSIA, Cyprus — Several hundred pro-Palestinian protesters demanded a halt to military action in Gaza during a peaceful protest near the Israeli embassy in the Cypriot capital.

Monday’s protest was organized by left-wing trade unions and peace groups and included Turkish Cypriot activists from the ethnically divided island’s breakaway north.

Riot police standing behind a cordon of barbed wire-topped fences prevented marching protesters from approaching the embassy’s entrance.

Some protesters burned a hand-painted Israeli flag.

Organizers condemned the bloodshed in Gaza and urged the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop the fighting.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.