Italy: Hizbullah banners outrage peace marchers

August 28, 2006 18:41

Pro-Hizbullah banners and the presence of controversial Islamic leader Mohamed Nour Dachan, head of the radical Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, at a weekend peace march in Assisi has triggered a debate on whether some who are supporting Italy's decision to send troops to Lebanon are being driven by anti-Israeli sentiment. Some marchers Saturday displayed banners in favor of the Shi'ite militia, including one with a photo of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah that described him as "the leader of Arab dignity" and ended with a call to "say yes to the resistance!" Organizers of the Assisi march criticized the pro-Hizbullah banners, but said they were carried only by a handful of people. They said thousands had marched to call for an end to all wars and in support of the strengthening of the UN mission to help Lebanon maintain the fragile Israeli-Hizbullah cease-fire.

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