Thousands gather in Egypt to back Palestinians

Egyptians gather in Cairo also to support national unity; protests come after gov't urges activists to cancel march to Gaza, 'Al Jazeera' says.

May 13, 2011 14:47
1 minute read.
Protesters fill Egypt's Tahrir Square

Protesters fill Egypt's Tahrir Square Cairo 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)

Thousands of Egyptians on Friday gathered at Tahrir Square in Cairo to show solidarity with Palestinians ahead of Nakba Day and also to rally behind national unity after 15 people were killed in sectarian violence in the country last week.

Demonstrators also celebrated the unity deal signed recently between Hamas and Fatah.

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Activists called for a march to Gaza to protest "the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories," Al Jazeera said.

On Thursday, the Egyptian Interior Ministry urged activists to cancel the march to Gaza, and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that for now, Egyptians are not "required" to march to the Strip in support of Palestinians, Al Jazeera reported.

In a statement quoted by AP, Egyptian authorities on Thursday called on activists to focus on internal issues and "to prevent any repercussions that might result from this march."

Activists launched a Facebook campaign that called for rallies on Friday and a march toward the Gaza border on Sunday, referred to as the "Sunday of Liberation."

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood expressed support for a really to be held in central Cairo, but said it does not favor the march to Gaza, AP reported.

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