Palestinians protest Saddam death sentence

250 girls, aged 7-13, paraded through Jenin, chanting "Beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv."

palestinian girl rally  (photo credit: AP)
palestinian girl rally
(photo credit: AP)
Schoolgirls marched and shopkeepers closed down their stores in Jenin on Monday in protest at the death sentence handed down against Saddam Hussein by a Baghdad court which found him guilty of crimes against humanity. Carrying pictures of Saddam, about 250 girls from seven to 13 years old paraded through the town's refugee camp, chanting "Beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv," the same slogan shouted by jubilant Palestinians when Iraqi rockets slammed into Israel during the 1991 Gulf War - before the marchers were born. Under Saddam's rule Iraq donated $25,000 per household for Jenin residents to rebuild homes destroyed in a 2002 Israeli military offensive there. In the Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, masked gunmen from a previously unknown group calling itself Arafat's Army threatened reprisals against foreign citizens in the Palestinian territories if the sentence against Saddam is carried out. "We warn the American administration and its collaborators not to hurt Saddam Hussein because ... we will target all foreigners, especially the Americans and their British supporters," one of the men said, without giving his name. "We warn all foreigners in the Gaza Strip, especially the Americans, that they will be kidnapped and killed in front of witnesses." In recent weeks several journalists and other foreigners have been kidnapped in Gaza, most of them by criminal elements and disgruntled government workers. They were all released unharmed.