Israel Gaza blitz sparks protests across the Arab world
AFP - 1 hour 39 minutes ago
CAIRO (AFP) - - From Egypt to Iraq, demonstrators took to the streets across the Arab world on Sunday in noisy protests against Israel's deadly bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
A protest in the occupied West Bank turned deadly, when one Palestinian demonstrator was killed in clashes with police.
A demonstration in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul was also marred by bloodshed when a suicide bomber on a bicycle blew himself up among the crowd, killing one person and wounding 16, police said.
The rally was organised by the Iraqi Islamic Party, the main Sunni Arab faction in parliament.
In Egypt, the largest protest saw around 8,000 people demonstrate on the streets of the southern city of Assiut. In the Egyptian capital 4,000 people gathered, while a demonstration in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria drew a similar number, a security official said.
In Damascus, Israeli and American flags were burned as thousands of people demonstrated in the city centre. Security was tight around the US embassy which lies some two kilometres (a mile and a half) from the scene of the protest in the Syrian capital.
Israeli flags were also burned in the Jordanian capital Amman, where hundreds of people led by Islamist MPs gathered to demand the closure of the Israeli embassy.
With Egypt, Jordan is one of only two Arab governments to have signed peace treaties with Israel.
The demonstrators in Amman rallied outside the Egyptian embassy, angry at Cairo's refusal to open its border with Gaza to deliveries of basic supplies to the aid-dependent territory or to civilians wishing to flee.
"The Egyptian regime has taken the decision to be part of a conspiracy against Gaza," the secretary general of Jordan's Islamic Action Front, Zaki Beni Rsheid, told the crowd.
In Beirut, the Egyptian embassy was attacked by stone-throwing demonstrators and police used tear-gas to disperse the crowd.
In Sanaa, tens of thousands of Yemenis joined a demonstration jointly organised by the ruling General People's Congress and opposition parties.
"How long will the silence last? Arabs wake up!" read one banner brandished by the crowd, who chanted anti-Israeli slogans.
In Bahrain, over 2,000 people answered a call by Sunni Islamists to take to the street in the city of Muharraq, chanting anti-Israeli slogans, and slamming Arab governments, mainly Egypt.
"(Hosni) Mubarak, you have embarrassed the Arabs," demonstrators chanted. In the Gulf emirate of Dubai, Palestinians demonstrated inside their consulate after being denied police permission to do so outside.
Hundreds of Kuwaitis assembled outside their parliament calling on Arab leaders to help the people of Gaza and urging Egypt to open its border with the Strip.
Demonstrators chanted "death to Israel" and "Where is the United Nations and Security Council."
The Israeli bombardment of Hamas targets in Gaza has killed more than 280 people since Saturday, the Jewish state's biggest offensive against the Palestinian territory since its capture in the 1967 Middle East war.
Governments around the region promised to send relief supplies for Gaza's impoverished population of 1.5 million people, who have been under a crippling Israeli blockade since the Islamists seized power there in June last year.
Jordan, Libya and non-Arab Greece and Iran all promised to send aid.
Jordan said it was dispatching 16 trucks to Gaza, carrying aid including 800 blood units.
In Libya, the Kadhafi Foundation said it was planning an airlift to Egypt to evacuate Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment, a spokesman for the charity told AFP.
Kuwait said it would work to bring injured Palestinians for medical treatment in the country.
Greece said it would send humanitarian aid "as soon as possible," but did not specify what or how much.
Iran said it would send two aircraft to Cairo to deliver 25 tonnes of rice, sugar and canned food. An Iranian shipment of more than 2,000 tonnes of aid is also to leave the Gulf port city of Bandar Abbas on Monday for the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba.
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Lebanese and Palestinian protestors set a makeshift Israeli flag on fire during a demonstration in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in solidarity with the Gaza Strip. From Egypt to Iraq, demonstrators took to the streets across the Arab world on Sunday in noisy protests against Israel's deadly bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
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