Protests across Mideast against Israel attacks on Gaza

January 16, 2009 23:24

Iraqi worshippers dropped money in boxes and gave up their jewelry Friday as clerics called for donations to help Palestinians suffering under an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. Elsewhere in the Mideast, refugees at a Palestinian camp near Damascus called for Israel to pull out of Gaza and widows in Beirut staged a sit-in outside a UN building. Palestinian police in the West Bank beat up protesters chanting in support of the terror group Hamas. The protests after Friday prayers were mostly low key, although the region has seen daily rallies since Israel launched its offensive to rout out Hamas on Dec. 27. UN and Palestinian medical officials say some 1,100 Palestinians have died so far in the offensive, including 346 children. In Hamas' ally Syria, 2,000 people rallied in the Palestinian Yarmouk camp, trampling Israeli flags and shouting anti-Israel slogans. About 1,500 worshippers marched in an upscale neighborhood of Amman condemning an Arab summit on Gaza under way in Doha and demanding Arabs send armies to Gaza rather than hold gatherings. Amman protesters demanded the expulsion of Israel's ambassador and abolishment of Jordan's 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

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