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Middle East

Protests around the world against Gaza raids

Article published on the 2009-01-02 Latest update 2009-01-02 13:19 TU

Members of a Bangladeshi Muslim organisation protest in Dhaka on Friday against Israel's attacks on Gaza
(Photo: Reuters)

Members of a Bangladeshi Muslim organisation protest in Dhaka on Friday against Israel's attacks on Gaza
(Photo: Reuters)

In the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, tens of thousands of Muslims staged a protest on Friday, praying for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and marching to the US embassy. Organisers had hoped to bring 200,000 people together and raise 200,000 dollars. There were other protests around the world.

The West Bank city of Ramallah was also the scene of protests against the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Thousands of Palestinians gathered after prayer in response to a call from Hamas for "a day of wrath". There was a heavy security presence for a gathering that was exceptional. Palestinian police in the West Bank, which is contrlled b y President Mahmud Abbas's Fatah, normally do not allow pro-Hamas demonstrations.

In Pakistan, protests were held in several cities. In Karachi, over 200 Pakistani Muslims rallied after Friday prayers outside mosques, where Israeli and US flags were burned. Other demonstrations took place in the city of Multan, where an effigy of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was burned, and in Lahore.

In Indian-controlled Kashmir, hundreds protested and burned Israeli flags in the city of Srinagar. They carried pro-Palestinian banners and pictures of Lebanese Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

In neighbouring Afghanistan, several thousand protested on Friday afternoon in the capital Kabul while about 1,000 people gathered in the western city of Herat. An additional protest was held in the northern province of Badakhstan.

In Morocco the media reported Friday that a law student had died after a protest last Sunday. Abderrazak El Gadiri was one of 3,000 people on the streets last weekend to denounce "Israeli agressors". He sustained injuries during clashes between protesters and police and died on Wednesday. Three hundred students gathered at the morgue in Marrakesh Friday and the Moroccan Association for Human Rights said an inquiry into the student's death had begun.

And in Australia, thousands gathered in Sydney with flags and banners in the city's Parry Park. Five local mosques closed their doors, asking Muslims to attend the rally. The local imam Ibrahim Abu Mohammed said Israel was "committing an act of terrorism" and called on "all the free people in the world ... to stop this evil".