Author Topic: Gaza carnage sparks protests throughout Palestine and the world  (Read 3149 times)


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Gaza carnage sparks protests throughout Palestine and the world
« on: December 28, 2008, 10:10:48 PM »
Israel threatens escalation in Gaza

By Tobias Buck in Jerusalem and Harvey Morris at the United Nations

Israel threatened to escalate its attacks on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Sunday, positioning tanks and armoured personnel carriers close to the border and calling up 6,700 reservists for a possible incursion into the territory.

The moves followed the biggest military offensive against Gaza since the 1967 war and one of the bloodiest days for the Palestinians in more than six decades of conflict with Israel.

After a second consecutive day of air strikes, at least 285 Gazans were dead and medical agencies in the territory said that there were at least 900 wounded, of which 120 were said to be critically injured.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 08:43:26 PM by Roger »


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Re:Gaza carnage sparks protests throughout Palestine and the world
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 08:37:48 PM »
Anti-Israel protests over Gaza raids draw thousands across Europe
DPA and the Associated Press

Dec 28

More than 1,000 people staged protests in Paris on Sunday against one of Israel's strike on Palestinian militants, police said, as the French government pushed for a halt to fighting.

"Some 1,300 people gathered in northern Paris in the Barbes neighborhood, and 150 gathered near the landmark Arc de Triomphe," a police spokeswoman said. The Barbes neighborhood has a large Arab population. "Both protests were peaceful," she added.

Near Champs-Elysees, several police vans and officers formed a broad security perimeter around the tightly guarded Israeli Embassy.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy held telephone talks Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and condemned what he called "the provocations that led to this situation as well as the disproportionate use of force."

France appears to be trying to use its last days as United Nations' president to press for a halt to fighting. On Thursday France will pass the EU presidency to the Czech Republic.

"Europe has a role to play," French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner said in an interview published Sunday.

Kouchner spoke to Abbas and Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Saturday.

"The Egyptians are capable of restarting the peace process, we must help them," Kouchner said, and noted that the attacks come in a context of vacancy of power in Israel and the U.S. as both countries are undergoing leadership transitions.

Manwhile, some 2,000 people staged a noisy protest outside the Israeli embassy in London on Sunday in response to Israeli air strikes that left hundreds dead in the Gaza Strip.

Police were forced to call in reinforcements after protesters tore down barriers holding them back and hurled projectiles in the direction of the diplomatic mission.

Six people were charged with disturbing public order after police forcibly removed a number of protesters from the gathering in the west of London.

Traffic in the area ground to a halt as the protest swelled from an initial group of 500 Palestinians and other people opposed to the Israeli military action in Gaza.

"Israel is a terrorist state," chanted demonstrators as Palestinian flags were waved. Other protesters held up posters reading "Holocaust in Gaza."

British Foreign Secretary David Milliband called for an "immediate halt to all violence" in Gaza. He said a cease-fire was urgently needed to halt the "massive loss of life" from the Israeli bombings.

Milliband said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had contacted his Israeli counterpart Ehud Olmert and made it clear Israel must stick by its humanitarian obligations
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 08:43:58 PM by Roger »


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Gaza carnage sparks protests throughout Palestine
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2008, 08:39:37 PM »
Gaza carnage sparks protests throughout Palestine
Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada

28 December 2008

Palestinians in Nablus demonstrate against the ongoing Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, 27 December 2008. (Rami Swidan/MaanImages)

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Anger, shock and revulsion at the continuing carnage in Gaza has ignited spontaneous demonstrations and riots across the West Bank and Israel, sparking concerns of a possible third Palestinian uprising or intifada.

More than 300 Palestinians were killed and at least 900 wounded following an intensive Israeli air bombing campaign over the Gaza strip through the weekend.

This followed a barrage of rockets fired by Palestinian fighters at Israeli towns and cities bordering the coastal territory in the last few weeks which caused some damage but no casualties.

Hamas leader-in-exile, Damascus-based Khaled Meshal, has called on Palestinians to rise up against Israel. The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank called for a three-day strike in sympathy with Gaza's plight.

Following Israel's aerial assault, one Israeli was killed and several wounded in retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza Saturday afternoon. This was Israel's first fatality in many months.

Following the initial clash, rioting and protests spread spontaneously to all of Gaza and the West Bank, leading to a popular uprising which lasted for several years. This followed years of Palestinian resentment and bitterness towards a brutal Israeli occupation.

Palestinians in Israel clashed Saturday with Israeli police throughout the state.

In the Bedouin village of Rahat in the Negev desert, around 400 residents protested the attacks, while mosques throughout the town broadcast prayers of mourning.

Several hundred left-wing Israelis marched through the streets of Tel Aviv towards the Israeli defense ministry headquarters chanting "No to war, yes to peace."

The left-wing protestors carried signs saying "Israel's government is committing war crimes," "Negotiation instead of slaughter," and "Lift the siege from Gaza."

Several Israeli protestors were arrested. Matan Kaminer, an Israeli student who took part in the protest, told the Israeli daily Haaretz that "no one can tell us that slaughtering the citizens of Gaza is meant to protect the citizens of Sderot and Ashkelon," referring to two Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli police officer was deliberately run over by a Palestinian in East Jerusalem as groups of Palestinian youths clashed with police in the city, stoning them and setting dumpsters on fire.

Palestinian protestors from West Bank towns and refugee camps took to the streets and marched on Israeli checkpoints and Israeli settlements. Many were injured by rubber bullets -- marble-sized metal balls covered in half a millimeter of rubber -- and tear gas shot by Israeli soldiers.

In Ramallah hundreds of protestors from the various Palestinian factions waved banners and flags, and decried the Gaza slaughter. They called for unity and for Gaza's Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and West Bank Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to bury their differences and put the Palestinian cause above their personal politics.

Many in the crowd waved Fatah flags, associated with Abbas and the PA, showing clearly their empathy with fellow Palestinians despite the political divide between the two Palestinian territories.

IPS joined the demonstration as it marched around Ramallah city. In the crowd were people from all sections of Palestinian society. Elegantly turned out middle-aged women from Ramallah's Christian minority marched side by side with tough young men from the surrounding refugee camps.

Grandmothers, journalists, factional leaders, and mothers with toddlers walked linking arms with a scattering of international sympathizers based in the cosmopolitan central West Bank city. Many countries have representative offices to the PA in Ramallah.

This was one of the largest demonstrations that Ramallah witnessed in the last few years of conflict.

"I couldn't just sit at home. I felt overwhelming anger at the situation in Gaza and I needed to show my solidarity," Munther, a young computer programmer from the Palestinian Legislative Council who voted for Abbas in the last election told IPS.

As the crowd circled the city center, the Palestinian police looked on quietly and stood back. But when the demonstrators marched on the Muqata, the government headquarters of the PA where Abbas was in his office, the mood of the Palestinian security forces changed.

On approaching the Muqata's entrance the crowd was met by Palestinian soldiers who took up positions and held their weapons at the ready. But the Shebab, or youth in Arabic, decided to head towards the nearby Israeli military checkpoint of Beit El.

While the more cautious in the crowd stood back, the young men headed towards waiting Israeli military jeeps and tanks and started to sling stones at them, and set tires alight to block the road.

The Israelis responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, injuring a number of youngsters who were rushed to nearby hospitals in Palestinian ambulances.

This IPS correspondent helped two youths injured by rubber bullets to hospital. They were shot as they stoned the soldiers.

As dozens of Palestinian riot police arrived on the scene to disperse the protestors, one of them remarked that the police arrival had been coordinated with their Israeli colleagues on the other side of the checkpoint.

"They are nothing but quislings and a militia of the Israelis. Hundreds of Palestinians were killed in Gaza, and who do they aim their weapons at? Not the Israelis but us, their brethren protesting the slaughter," said one of the youths.

"There will be more protests tomorrow and I will be back," he added, as he stepped out of the taxi and limped towards the emergency room.

All rights reserved, IPS - Inter Press Service (2008). Total or partial publication, retransmission or sale forbidden.