Protest to encircle White House

? The nation’s capital is becoming a stage where passions on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon conflict are being played out with a series of protests, vigils and rallies in Washington in recent weeks, with more to come.

The largest demonstration – billed as a protest of the “U.S.-Israeli war” – is expected to draw “tens of thousands” of people who plan to surround the White House on Saturday, said Tony Kutayli, communications coordinator for the Washington-based American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, one of the groups helping coordinate participants arriving from across the country.

In the past few weeks, the National Park Service has issued several permits for demonstrations tied to the conflict, said spokesman Bill Line.

Earlier this month, groups of women dressed in somber black slowly circled in front of the White House holding candles in a silent tribute to those killed in Lebanon.

Across the region, groups have held small meetings to raise almost $7 million in aid for those killed and injured in Israel.