Israel flag torched in Lebanon rally
Photo: AFP

Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan see anti-Israel rallies

Tens of thousands rally through Arab capitals calling for end to Israeli strikes in Gaza and in support of Hamas. In Beirut Hizbullah leader Nasrallah echoes calls for third intifada, while in Amman masses urge renewal of suicide bombings

Tens of thousands of Lebanese Shiite protesters, chanting "Death to America, Death to Israel", massed in Beirut on Monday, calling for an end to Israeli strikes on Gaza that have killed 320 Palestinians.


In the Jordanian capital, Amman, about 20,000 people staged a demonstration organized by the mainstream Muslim Brotherhood, while in Cairo about 1,000 people rallied to show solidarity with Gaza Palestinians.


Tens of thousands of protesters in Beirut (Photo: AP)


"In Gaza today we face, as a nation, a battle against the fate of Palestine and not the fate of the Hamas government," Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared to a throng of demonstrators in Beirut's southern suburbs.


"I join my voice to the voices of other Palestinian leaders that have called for a third intifada (uprising) in Palestine and other intifadas in both the Arab and Islamic worlds...," he said.


"I believe that defending Gaza and the people of Gaza means that the nation should offer the blood of martyrs," Nasrallah said.


Amman: Bring suicide bombs to Tel Aviv

In the Amman rally, protesters urged Hamas to resume a campaign of suicide bombings and intensify rocket attacks.


"Oh Hamas we are your soldiers ... hit them with al-Qassam rockets ... bring the suicide bombers to Tel Aviv," they chanted, waving the green flags of the Muslim Brotherhood who are ideological allies of Hamas and the leftist opposition.


Many Jordanians whose families originally came from towns and cities in what is now Israel support Hamas.


The demonstrators lambasted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and urged his country, which has been cooperating with Israel for months in the blockade of Gaza, to allow freedom of movement for Palestinians.


In the Cairo protest outside the Journalists Union building, the crowd, which included Islamists, leftists and Arab nationalists, shouted slogans in support of Gaza Palestinians and condemning Arab governments, including Egypt's.


Similar protests took place in a string of Arab countries on Sunday.


Many governments in the Arab world are seen as collaborators with the United States or Israel by popular Islamist movements.


They called on the Egyptian government to open the Rafah crossing and stop collaborating with Israel in the blockade of the impoverished coastal strip and 1.5 million inhabitants.


About the same number of riot police, armed with batons and shields, penned the protesters into a narrow area on the steps of the union and along the nearby pavement.


פרסום ראשון: 12.29.08, 19:00
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