From Fri Oct 13 10:16:46 2000
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 22:20:49 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Middle East Rises in Solidarity
Article: 106681
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Middle East rises in solidarity

By Joyce Chediac, Workers World, 19 October 2000

Hundreds of thousands of Arabs, Iranians and other peoples of the Middle East have taken to the streets daily to rage at the killing of more than 80 Palestinians by the Israeli government. The protests have so strongly targeted the U.S. that Washington has closed all its diplomatic offices in the Middle East.

Country shows solidarity with Palestinians, said the Beirut Star as tens of thousands in Lebanon took to the streets of Beirut, Tyre and Sidon virtually every day. On Oct. 8, when about 500 Palestinians from the refugee camps gathered at the Israeli border, they were fired on by Israeli soldiers and two were killed.

The Lebanese Hizbullah movement responded by crossing the border and kidnapping three Israeli soldiers. Hizbullah said the kidnapping was carried out in the name of the 12-year- old Palestinian boy, Muhammad al-Durrah, who was shot dead in the Gaza Strip. The soldiers are being held pending the release by Israel of Lebanese prisoners.

Mass outpourings continue, with 25,000 marching through Beirut Oct. 9 with the coffins of the two Palestinians killed.

Half-a-million people demonstrated in the capital city Rabat in Morocco. They demanded the closing of the Israeli attachment bureau, burned U.S. and Israeli flags, and carried banners denouncing Israel's war of extermination against Palestinians.

Ten thousand people demonstrated Oct. 5 in Teheran, Iran. The demonstrators burned a U.S. flag. Iran's local Jewish leaders joined the protest. The brutalities committed by Israeli forces have nothing to do with the divine Jewish religion. They are fascists, said the head of Iran's Jewish Society.

In Egypt, daily student protests have swelled to more than 2,000 at al-Azhar University in Cairo, 6,000 at Alexandria University, 7,000 at Cairo University, and 5,000 at al- Menoufiya--northwest of Cairo. Students burned U.S. flags and called for an end to relations with Israel and the expulsion of Israel's ambassador. They also urged Arab leaders to adopt a unified stand in support of the Palestinian people. Egypt was the first country to enter a formal peace treaty with Israel.

There were student protests in Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi.

Officials in Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have pledged to send emergency medical aid and to evacuate wounded Palestinians. But Israel closed the Gaza airport, stopping this effort.

In Yemen several demonstrations were held on Oct. 8. Tens of thousands of protestors marched on the U.S. Embassy, shouting, America wake up! There will be no America after today! When more than 20,000 people in the southern town of Ad Dali protested the killings, police dispersed them with tear gas and live ammunition.

In Amman, Jordan, police used batons and tear gas to disperse hundreds of high school students protesting outside the Israeli Embassy. Riot police confronted Jordan University students who tried to leave their campus to march to the Israeli Embassy. The protest caused Jordan to delay sending its new ambassador to Israel.

Some 20,000 demonstrated in Iraq on Oct. 8. The Iraqi News Agency said top officials have decided to open military training camps for volunteers to liberate Palestine. A main street in Baghdad was being renamed The Martyr Mohammed al Durrah Street.

On Oct. 4, 1,000 students pelted the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria with stones, branches and bags of rubbish.

Thousands marched and rallied in Khartoum, Sudan. They burned an Israeli flag and shouted Down, down, USA.

Hundreds of Indonesian demonstrators burned Israeli flags and threw stones at the United Nations headquarters in Jakarta during massive demonstrations Oct. 6.

[Sources include the New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Beirut Daily Star, Syria Times and the following Web sites:;;; and]