World Rallies for Gaza Peace

Millions of people around the world took to the streets on Friday, January 2, in a day of anger over the ongoing Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.

"Israel is committing an act of terrorism. It’s the duty of all the free people in the world to stand against it and stop this evil," Australian Muslim imam Abu Mohammed said.

Bearing pro-Palestinian flags and banners, thousands of Australian Muslims took to the streets early Friday to denounce the Israeli attacks in Gaza.

The protestors flocked to Parry Park in the city’s Islamic heartland to demonstrate and pray for the Palestinian victims of the week-long Israeli blitz.

A makeshift coffin draped in the Palestinian flag was carried before the crowd, followed by a procession of eight imams.

In London, protestors gathered to demonstrate against the Gaza attacks.

"I would like to make an appeal to president elect Obama to speak up," human rights activist Bianca Jagger said.

"People throughout the world were hopeful when he was elected and we must appeal to him to ask for the immediate cessation of the bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip."

Obama has kept a low profile on the Gaza conflict, stressing that there is only one president at a time ahead of his inauguration on January 20.

At least 428 Palestinians have been killed and more than 2,200 wounded in a week-long Israeli offensive in the overcrowded strip.

"I want to feel proud of Israel, I want to be proud of my people but I am ashamed," said actor Alexei Sayle.

Stop Killings

Pro-Palestinians rallies also swept the streets from the Middle East to Asia.

Tens of thousands marched in the West Bank, where Israel slapped a full closure, against the Israeli attacks in Gaza.

In occupied East Jerusalem, protesters hurled rocks at Israeli troops which barred a lot of Palestinians from praying at Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine.

Pro-Gaza rallies were also staged throughout Jordan, with campaigns demanding Jordanians to donate blood, medicine and food to the besieged Gazans.

In Lebanon, protesters staged mock funeral parlors and carried empty coffins in a sign of solidarity with Gazans. Some protesters have kept their sit-in in the front of the Egyptian embassy in Beirut.

Thousands of Egyptians took to the street in several cities after the Friday prayers, calling for an action over the Israeli attacks.

In Cairo, riot police cordoned key mosques.

"Except Cairo, Egyptians across the country protested against the Israeli onslaught in Gaza," Mohamed Ezzat, Secretary-General of the Muslim Brotherhood, told the Doha-based Al-Jazeera.

In the Gulf state of Qatar, thousands of Qatari nationals and foreigners staged blood and aid campaigns for the Gazans.

More than 1,000 Afghans also marched through the centre of Herat City, in the western province of Herat, against the Israeli attacks.

"We are here to demonstrate against Israelis who make Palestinians suffer," said Mohammad Shafi, a 19-year-old Afghan student.

"Down with Israel," were among the slogans the protestors chanted as they marched through the streets.

"We are gathered here to share our voice with the depressed and defenseless people of Palestine in order to be able to do a small thing for the Muslim people of Palestine," said scholar Farooq Hossaini.

In Turkey, thousands of people demonstrated against the deadly Israeli offensive outside the historic Beyazit Mosque in the ancient heart of Istanbul.

"Israeli murderers, get out of Palestine", "Muslims, don’t sleep, defend Palestine" were among the slogans chanted by the protestors.

Thousands of people also marched in Pakistan, Indonesia and Kashmir against the deadly Israeli attacks.

"Look how they are killing Muslims and no one seems to be bothered," said Kashmiri protestor Akbar Ali.


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