Iraqis demand Arab action against Israeli attacks on Gaza

The office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the cleric who has peerless influence among Shi'ites in Iraq, issued a statement condemning Israeli savage attacks.

Iraqis demand Arab action against Israeli attacks on Gaza

Protestors burned Israeli flags and fired AK-47s into the air in protests across Iraq on Sunday, demanding a stronger response from Arab nations to the Israeli attack on Gaza.

In Baladiyat, a Baghdad district that is home to many Palestinians given refuge in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, men waved banners and condemned Arab nations for not doing enough to support Palestinians.

"We have been waiting for an action from Arab leaders for almost 60 years," Jaleel al-Qasus, the Palestinian envoy to Iraq, said during the protest of several hundred people.

"Our efforts have been in vain."

Several thousand people protested in the city of Samarra, a Sunni Arab city north of Baghdad and a few hundred took to the streets in Falluja in the mainly Sunni province of Anbar.

"Arab silence is behind the bombings," one banner read.

The protests took place as Israel launched more air strikes on Gaza on Sunday following attacks on Saturday.

The attacks are some of the worst in 60 years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Iraq hosted some 30,000 Palestinian refugees before the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq in 2003.

The office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the cleric who has peerless influence among Shi'ites in Iraq, issued a statement condemning Israeli savage attacks.

"The Arab and Muslim world demand, more than ever, a practical stance to stop this never-ending offensive," it said.

Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shi'ite cleric who is one of chief opposers against US occupation in Iraq, criticised close U.S. ties to Israel.

He said Israel was having little regard for civilians' lives.

"The massacre of innocents in Gaza is proof of what we are saying. All this is happening with backing of the American government and colonial states," he said in a statment.

Agencies

Last Mod: 28 Aralık 2008, 20:17
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