Monday, Dec 29, 2008
Israel keeps pounding Gaza on the third day of its aerial campaign as the world continues to protest the deadly blitz that has killed over 310 people.
Demonstrators marched in protest against the airstrikes in several cities around the world.
On Monday, thousands poured to the streets of the Iranian capital, Tehran, calling for an end to the massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
In other Iranian cities, shopkeepers ended trade for the day, closing bazaars (traditional markets) and businesses to show their support for the Palestinian people as the demonstrations continued in Tehran.
About 8,000 people demonstrated in Egypt in the southern city of Assiut, while rallies in the capital Cairo and the port city of Alexandria drew around 4,000 each, a security official said.
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In Turkey, thousands of people joined demonstrations in about a dozen cities, while in Syria, protesters burned Israeli and American flags as thousands demonstrated in central Damascus.
Traffic in central London where the Israeli embassy is located was brought to a halt by hundreds of protesters, waving Palestinian flags and placards reading “holocaust in Gaza” and shouting in unison: “Israel is a terror state”.
Organizers said some 3,000 people had taken part in Sunday’s protest, while police which arrested over 10 demonstrators put the figure at 700.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei had denounced the Israel regime and described its attacks as a ‘deliberate massacre’ of innocent and defenseless people.
Meanwhile, in Yemen, over 30,000 people gathered at a soccer stadium to express their solidarity with the suffering masses in Gaza, after watching horrific images of the attacks on their television screens the previous day, Press TV correspondent in Yemen, Roshan Mohammed Salih reported on Sunday.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah also condemned the raids, saying that it is very unfortunate to begin the new Islamic year at a time where a huge humanitarian catastrophe has led to the martyrdom of over 300 innocent people and the injuring of over 1,500 in the Gaza Strip by Israel tanks and air strikes.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza as attacks on the Islamic Hamas movement entered their third day.
Latin American Countries, including Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela, urged Israel to stop its military operations in the Gaza that started on December 27.
Canada also appealed for a halt to the violence, saying it is deeply concerned by the loss of life and the suffering sustained by all sides.
Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI called on the international community to spare no efforts to restore peace in Gaza.
Earlier Sunday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called for an ‘urgent ceasefire and immediate halt to all violence’ as people in London protested against the raids.
Japan also urged both sides to stop the use of force immediately to avoid a further escalation, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said in a statement.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas by telephone of his concerns about the escalating violence.
The killings continue as the US vetoed an anti-Israeli resolution sought by the UN Security Council members.
The outgoing Bush administration has also thrown its full support behind Tel Aviv, blaming Hamas for provoking the offensive by firing rockets into Israel from Gaza.
Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip say they fire rockets into Israel in retaliation for the daily Israeli attacks against them. Unlike the state-of-the-art Israeli weapons and ammunition, the home-made Qassam rockets rarely cause casualties.
This article was posted: Monday, December 29, 2008 at 5:21 am