Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mass protests held against Gaza war.

No mention of the UN ceasefire call in this article and the fact that both Israel and Hamas have ignored it. The international outrage does not seem to be producing much in the way of results except perhaps for the 3 hour truce. It is not at all clear that other negotiations are achieving much either. Hamas is harvesting a great deal of respect in parts of the Arab world and putting pressure on regimes such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. All of this is also vastly increasing the stature of Iran in the Arab street and at the same time having the effect of uniting Sunni and Shia Muslims. El Fatah too is under pressure to show solidarity with its enemy Hamas.
This is from Al Jazeera.


Mass protests held against Gaza war
Protesters in Germany demand and end to the Israeli bombardment and the Gaza blockade [AFP]
Protesters have staged rallies around the world to voice their anger as the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip entered a third week.Organisers of a mass rally in Britain on Saturday were anticipating about 100,000 protesters would take part, while in Germany 10,000 people took to the streets of the city of Duisburg.
Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull, reporting from London, said celebrity activists, MPs and leaders of Arab and Muslim groups were speaking at the rally in the UK capital's Hyde Park.
"I have just heard one speaker calling for the closure of the Israeli embassy and an end to diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Israel, so ... public anger is running high," he said.The protesters are set to march to the Israeli embassy after the speeches end.
The protest rally is backed by Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, who has called on European nations to withdraw their ambassadors from Israel and suspend trade agreements with the Jewish state.'Oppression and violence'Engin Karahan, one of the organisers of the march in the German city of Duisburg, said the protesters wanted to show "our solidarity with the victims in the Gaza Strip, and signal our opposition to the oppression and violence in Gaza".
The demonstrators called for an immediate end to the violence and a lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza.Almost 20,000 demonstrators carrying Lebanese and Palestinian flags marched through the streets of the Lebanese market town of Nabatiyeh in a rally organised by the Hezbollah group, which fought a 34-day war with Israeli in 2006.
"Gaza is the nation's battle," read one banner carried by the demonstrators. There were also demonstrations in France and Spain.
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protests that have been staged every day since Israel began to bombard the Gaza Strip 15 days ago.In the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, hundreds of Palestinian children took to the streets calling for an end to the war.Palestinian youths also gathered in East Jerusalem."It is to [express] our anger about the massacre in Gaza, this voice ... [says] Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian territories [and] that Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state," Hatem Abdel Al-Qader, an adviser to the Palestinian prime minister, said."It is a big voice ... that supports our citizens in Gaza against the Israeli massacre." Several hundred people rallied outside the Israeli embassy in the Australian capital of Canberra, throwing shoes at the building and chanting "Free Palestine".
Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies

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