Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Algeria blocks anti-Israel protest over Gaza flotilla raid

Algeria fears protest will turn to violence; protesters around the world have taken to the streets, from France, Italy, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Greece, Lebanon, Egypt and more.

Police in Algeria on Wednesday halted a small demonstration of intellectuals and journalists from gathering in front of the United States Embassy to protest Israel's raid on the Gaza aid flotilla on Monday.

Organizer Mohammed Ben Fodhil said he was briefly detained Wednesday. Banners reading Israel Bezeff, or Israel stop it, and Obama-Clinton equal Sharon - a reference to former Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon - were confiscated.

Algerian authorities say all 32 Algerians detained by Israel on the aid flotilla have been released.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people outraged by the deadly Israeli commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip have protested outside the Israeli and the United States embassies in France, Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, India and the U.S.

Since Monday demonstrators have taken to the streets chanting anti-Israeli slogans and burning Israeli and American flags. Dozens of protesters surrounded Israel's consulate in Istanbul from the early hours of the day until well into the evening, hurling stones and burning Israeli flags."Damn Israel," the protesters shouted.

Swelling demonstrations were underway outside the Israeli embassy in Paris, where riot police forcibly drove back scores of protesters. The demonstrators blocked traffic as they charged toward the building, leading officers to respond by firing tear gas.

In Jordan, hundreds urged their government to follow Turkey's lead and cut ties with Israel. Dozens of Egyptians protested outside the foreign ministry in Cairo criticizing the Egyptian government holding pictures of late President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Dozens of angry students pelted the UN offices in Teheran with stones and eggs in protest, burning Israeli flags and chanting, death to Israel and down with U.S. Police blocked them from reaching the building. The president of Iran, a key supporter of Hamas, called the raid an inhuman act.

In Baghdad, an estimated 3,000 Shiite followers of the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr shouted "Death, death to Israel!" and "Death, death to America!"

In Beirut, about 500 Palestinian and Lebanese activists protested in front of the UN headquarters, setting Israeli flags on fire. In neighboring Syria, more than 200 Syrian and Palestinian protesters staged a sit-in before the offices of the United Nations.

There were also demonstrations in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Rome, Cyprus and more than 20 cities in Greece, including Athens and Thessaloniki, where some 2,000 people were marching.

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