Thousands of Iraqis protest Israeli offensive in Palestine
Israel pushed ahead with its offensive in the Gaza Strip, ignoring a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Tens of thousands of Iraqis protested against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip on Friday.
Protesters waved Palestinian flags and burned Israeli and U.S. flags in the Baghdad Shi'ite slum of Sadr City after Friday prayers. Smaller protests were held and anti-Israeli sermons delivered in the Sunni Adhamiya district, the Sunni city of Falluja and the holy Shi'ite city of Najaf.
Powerful Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for revenge attacks on the Jewish state's strongest ally the United States.
"Death to Israel, death to America, Israel's partner in attacking Gaza," the Sadr City crowd chanted, after a message from Sadr was read to them, calling for solidarity with Gaza.
Israel pushed ahead with its offensive in the Gaza Strip on Friday, ignoring a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire.
Medical officials said the Palestinian death toll had risen to at least 783, more than a third children. Ten Israeli soldiers have been killed and Palestinian rockets have killed three Israeli civilians.
"I call on the noble uprising to carry out revenge operations against the biggest partner of the Zionist enemy, to be hand in hand with the noble Palestinian uprising," Sadr said in a speech read by his representatives at Friday prayers.
The United States has traditionally been Israel's strongest supporter, and has backed the Gaza offensive.
Iraq hosted some 30,000 Palestinian refugees before the U.S.-led invasion.
Reuters Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2009, 17:03