Sun, January 04, 2009
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Gaza assaults spark global backlash

2009-01-04 07:31:20 GMT2009-01-04 15:31:20 (Beijing Time)

A wave of protests against Israel's assault on Gaza has taken place in countries around the world.

This rally by thousands of Israeli Arabs inside the Jewish state was among the biggest.

SOUNDBITE: Israeli Arab demonstrator saying (English):

"Country-wide demonstration to raise a clear voice against the attacks, the war crimes that Israel is practising in the Gaza Strip, and to call upon all the international community leaders and to say to them 'your silence is actually a partnership in these war crimes."

In the West Bank, ruled by the Fatah faction which Hamas ousted from Gaza, Palestinians marched to demand national unity.

In Europe Turkey, Germany, Spain, France and Denmark have all seen protests demanding a halt to the Israeli onslaught.

Demonstrators in London hurled shoes outside the official residence of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Among onlookers reaction was mixed.

SOUNDBITE: Cherise, London resident, saying (English):

"Their country should sort it out. It's not really got anything to (do with) us."

SOUNDBITE: Fintan McKeown, from Windsor, near London, saying (English):

"It's imperative that we take action and demonstrate with an urgency and immediacy that's required at the moment."

Afghans in Kabul and Jalalabad defied icy winter conditions to add their voices to the wave of demonstrations.

There were protests too by Muslims in India and Indonesia.

The head of the Arab League says he's amazed the UN Security Council still hasn't met.

Amr Moussa is urging an immediate ceasefire.

SOUNDBITE: Amr Moussa, Arab League Secretary General, saying (English):

"Peace has to be addressed in a determined and a clear way and not just to resume the same old tactics of talking for the sake of talking."

As yet no amount of protests have brought the conflict closer to an end.

At least ten Palestinians are reported to have been killed when Israeli warplanes bombed a mosque during Saturday evening.

Throughout the day Hamas militants continued their campaign of missile attacks against Israeli towns and villages.

Paul Chapman, Reuters

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