Thousands march across Arab world

December 31, 2008

Demonstrations swept the Arab world this week as tens of thousands of people marched to protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

A number of mass rallies were held in Beirut, including one where thousands turned out to hear a video address by Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who called for “a third intifada” in response to the air strikes.

“In Gaza today we face, as a nation, a battle against the fate of Palestine and not the fate of the Hamas government,” he told the crowds. “I join my voice to the voices of other Palestinian leaderships that have called for a third intifada in Palestine and other intifidas in both the Arab and Islamic worlds.”

In Amman, about 20,000 people turned out for a rally organised by Hamas allies the Muslim Brotherhood to call on the Palestinians to step up their rocket attacks on Israel and to start a suicide bombing campaign.

In central Damascus, more than 5,000 people took part in a march that culminated in the torching of an Israeli and an American flag.

However, a protest in Egypt drew only about 1,000 people, who were heavily policed as they shouted slogans accusing Cairo of collaborating with Israel over the situation in Gaza.

Last updated: 9:39am, December 31 2008