Global Protests Slam Silence on Gaza ‘Genocide’

Angry people holding banners condemning the ‘genocide’ in Gaza and chanting anti-Israeli slogans were witnessed across the world as people continued to protest Sunday against Israel’s nine-day assault on the impoverished strip.

Clashes between angry protestors and police have marred most global demonstrations but the only reported death was in the West Bank as Israeli troops shot dead 21-year-old Palestinian Mufid al-Walwil.

Further protests were expected, as anger grew over the Israeli military push — and diplomatic reaction, including U.N. failure to agree on a common resolution, and the European Union’s Czech-led delegation initially categorizing Israel’s action as "defensive" prior to a Sunday apology.
 
Arab World

Lebanon anti-riot police also fired teargas and water cannon at protesters near the U.S. embassy compound in Awkar, north of Beirut, an AFP photographer said. Thousands also demonstrated outside the UN headquarters in Beirut.

Students from Mauritania’s Nouakchott University clashed with police when they tried to surround the Israeli embassy calling for it to be closed down because "it brings shame to our country."

Around 200 Iraqis staged a protest in the southern Shiite shrine city of Karbala to condemn Israel’s deadly attacks on the Gaza Strip and to voice support for embattled Palestinians.

The crowd chanted "No, no, to imperialism," "No, no, to Israel," and "No, no to Zionism," as they marched to the shrine of Imam Hussein, Shiites’ third imam.
 
Police in Turkey refused to give numbers, but central Istanbul’s sprawling Caglayan square was packed with a sea of protesters — organizers claiming a turnout as high as 700,000.

"The bastards of the devil, go away from Palestine and the Middle East," said one banner in English.

In Morocco, the 40,000-strong crowd in the capital Rabat chanted expressions of anger over "the silence of Arab regimes."
 
Demonstrators accused Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak of having "sold Gaza for (U.S.) dollars."

Islamist Party of Justice and Development lawmaker Mustapha Ramid said "the blood of Gazan martyrs has mobilized the masses in Morocco and throughout the rest of the Arab world."
 
Europe

Thousands of people across Europe voiced their opposition to Israel’s military action in rallies in Paris, London, Madrid, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Athens along with other European cities.

In London, some 10,000 demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and chanted "Free, free Palestine" and "Israel terrorists" as they filed along the River Thames before gathering in Trafalgar Square, an AFP reporter saw.

Some protesters threw their shoes at the iron gates of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Downing Street residence to express their anger at his refusal to condemn Israeli airstrikes, which Palestinian medics say have killed more than 450 people in a week.
 
The London march, which organizers Stop the War Coalition claimed had attracted 50,000 people, was led by singer Annie Lennox and veteran left-wing politician Tony Benn.

Alexei Sayle, an actor and comedian well known to British TV audiences, also took part. He said: "As a Jew it’s very moving to see so many people who are so outraged at Israel’s actions.

"Israel is a democratic country that is behaving like a terrorist organization," he said.

In Paris the crowd of 25,000 chanted "We are all Palestinians" and "Israel killers." Many sported traditional Palestinian scarves.

Several cars were also torched or overturned and windows smashed in the city’s midtown shopping district, but calm appeared to return as of early evening.

In neighboring Spain, more than 2,000 people rallied outside the foreign ministry in Madrid, burning several Israeli flags. Police detained a man who tried to break through a police barrier and injured three police officers.

Hundreds of the demonstrators then marched through the streets of Madrid brandishing signs such as "This is not a war but a genocide."

Protests were also staged rallies in Greek and Italian cities, with the largest turnout reported in Milan — an estimated 5,000 people, most of them immigrants.
 
Meanwhile, scuffles took place in front of the Israeli embassy in Athens at the end of a rally that drew about 3,000, pitting stone-throwing demonstrators against police who responded with teargas.

Two people were arrested as more than 1,000 marched through Amsterdam condemning the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and calling for a boycott of Israeli goods, police said.

More than 2,300 people also demonstrated in the Austrian city of Salzburg, police said.

(News Agencies and Alarabiya.net)

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