|The world condemns Israeli aggression on Gaza||
Tens of thousands of people across the Middle East, Asia, and Europe held demonstrations to protest the Israeli aggression against the people of Palestine on Friday, Russia Today reported.
Israeli airstrikes, shelling, and artillery fire have left about 40 Palestinians, including 8 children and a pregnant woman, dead and at least 345 others injured since Wednesday. Some of the injured are in critical condition.
In the Egyptian capital Cairo, thousands of protesters came out on Friday to demonstrate against the Israeli attacks, chanting, “We will go to Gaza in our millions,” swearing to “sacrifice ourselves for you, Palestine.”
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, more than 1,000 people gathered to show their support for Gaza.
In Lebanon, thousands turned up in Palestinian refugee camps in the north and south of the country to show their outrage towards the Israeli aggression.
In Iran, over 700 cities saw anti-Israeli protests after Friday’s prayers, including the capital Tehran. Crowds there were chanting “death to Israel” and “death to America,” ISNA news agency reported.
A large number of South Koreans demonstrated opposite the Israel embassy in Seoul on Friday to show solidarity with Palestinians in the latest escalation with the Tel Aviv regime, and urge Israel to stop violence against Gazans.
An unnamed South Korean human rights activist, who took part in the protest said, “You must not force the Palestinians to sacrifice. You must not kill children anywhere. Children are precious whether in Palestine or in Israel. They must not die in a massacre. We are calling on Israel to come back to its senses.”
On Friday, Australians also protested against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, Press TV reported.
Sylvia Hale, a former parliament member, said, “The Israelis are adopting a policy of slaughtering the people in Gaza.”
Meanwhile, protest rallies were held in Istanbul, Ankara, Rome and Madrid in addition to the Arab world -- in Tunisia, Yemen, and Algeria.
“I believe that all Muslims should show solidarity. Factions and differences destroy our goal. If we want to answer Israel, we must do it together. We won't achieve anything by condemning Israel. We must take real action,” Ali Golin, a protestor in Istanbul, said.
On Saturday, Israeli airstrikes killed at least nine more Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, medics said, with Palestinian security sources confirming that at least three of them were Hamas fighters.
Late on Friday, Israel called up about 75,000 army reservists, amid increasing signs that Tel Aviv is preparing for a full ground invasion of the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a four-hour emergency meeting with a number of senior ministers in Tel Aviv on widening the military offensive in Gaza, Reuters reported.
Netanyahu consulted with other cabinet ministers on the issue by telephone.
The ministers approved the call-up of up to 75,000 army reservists.
Earlier in the day, Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil visited Gaza and condemned the Israeli aggression against the people of Gaza.
"Egypt will spare no effort… to stop the aggression and to achieve a truce," Qandil said as he visited injured residents at Gaza City's al-Shifa Hospital.
Since the start of its operation, Israel's army said it carried out some 700 airstrikes. It also said that fighters have fired more than 580 rockets over the border, 367 of which hit southern Israel, and 222 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.
The Gaza Interior Ministry said a government compound was also hit as devout Muslims streamed to the area for early morning prayers. So, too, was a Cabinet building where the Hamas prime minister received the prime minister of Egypt on Friday.
In southern Gaza, Israeli aircraft went after the hundreds of underground tunnels used to smuggle in weapons and other contraband from Egypt, people in the area reported.
A huge explosion in the area sent buildings shuddering in the Egyptian city of El-Arish, 45 kilometers away, an Associate Press news agency correspondent there reported.
The Israeli military frequently carries out airstrikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, saying the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, disproportionate force is always used, in violation of international law, and civilians are often killed or injured.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.
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|Last Updated on 17 November 2012 17:27|