World Protests Gaza “siege”
A sea of demonstrators from the Lebanese city of Beirut to the Swedish capital Stockholm took to the streets Monday, January 21, to protest the “slow death” of Gaza “s after a deadly Israeli blockade of the impoverished territory entered its fourth day in a row.
“End the Gaza siege” and “End crimes against the Palestinian people,” read banners raised by thousands of Lebanese protesters, who took to the streets of many Lebanese cities to protest against the “inhumane” Israeli blockade, reported Al-Jazeera satellite channel.
Generators hummed across Gaza City after the territory”s sole power plant shut down late Sunday after it ran out of fuel, plunging entire blocks into darkness.
In Jordan , hundreds of thousands of protesters converged at the streets in mass rallies organized nationwide by the Islamic Action Front (IAF).
In Algeria , the Students Union organized on-campus protests that denounced the Israeli humiliation of the Palestinian people.
“Are we going to sit on the fence watching our brothers and sisters in Gaza being slain day in, day out by?” fumed Secretary General of the students union Ismail Mujaheed said.
On Sunday, January 20, members of the Swedish parliament, politicians and Christian clerics converged at the Slottsbacken square in Stockholm in solidarity with the Palestinians.
“Lift the Siege,” “Dismantle the settlement,” “Demolish the separation wall,” and “Stop the crimes against the Palestinians” are a few among a slew of slogans chanted by the demonstrators.
Adding insult to injury, Israel has launched an open-ended military aggression on the Strip, killing up to 36 people, including children and women, over the past week.
Gaza Strip is already reeling under a crippling US-led Western economic boycott that left its economy on the verge of collapse.
Mauritanian students urged Arab governments to stand up and be counted.
The protesters blasted the official Arab inaction and failure to translate words of support into concrete steps.
In Mauritania , thousands of students urged the Arab governments to stand up and be counted.
They called on the Mauritanian government to sever its ties with Israel .
In Egypt , Members of Parliament joined forces with locals in the northern city of Alexandria , demanding an immediate official Arab action to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza .
The Cairo-based Union of Arab Doctors appealed to the Arab and Islamic governments to start raising funds for the helpless Gazans.
“The continuing Israeli blockade of Gaza means virtually a slow death of its people,” he told IslamOnline.net.
“The Union of Arab Doctors have appealed to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to allow a 30-doctor delegation to go the Gaza Strip to help reduce the people”s sufferings.”
Well-placed sources at the Union told IOL that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has already agreed in principle to allow aid convoys and medics through the Rafah crossing, but stopped short of setting a date.
The sources predicted that the crossings will be opened by the Egyptians on Tuesday, January 22.
Amid mounting international concern, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak phoned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Monday to warn “of the deteriorating humanitarian situation resulting from the blockade.”
Arab League officials gathered in Cairo for an emergency meeting to discuss the lockdown after chief Amr Moussa warned Israeli actions could hamper the revived Middle East peace talks.
Iran called on foreign ministers of Islamic states to hold an emergency meeting on the Gaza crisis.
The European Union slammed what it termed as “collective punishment” of impoverished Gaza “s 1.5 million residents, while the United Nations called on Israel to open the territory”s crossings to ease a “desperate” situation in a zone where most people depend on foreign aid.
With Gaza crossings closed and fuel for generators slowly running out, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned that hospitals in the territory only had a few days” worth of fuel to run their generators.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees warned Monday that it will be forced to stop providing food aid to hundreds of thousands of Gazans within days if Israel keeps up its blockade.
“If the present situation pertains on Wednesday or Thursday we are going to have to stop food distribution to 860,000 people,” UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness said.