Sunday, January 4, 2009

More demonstrations against Israeli massacre and invasion of Gaza--

Sydney, Australia protest, Sunday, January 4, 2009.

Photo on Agence France-Presse (AFP), at:


Click on image to enlarge it:

"Australian Palestinian community members described the Israeli bombing campaign as a Holocaust (AAP: Aman Sharma)"

"Sydney, Melb protesters march against Gaza attacks"

January 4, 2009

On the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), at:

Thousands of people have turned out in Australian capital cities for protests against the violence in Gaza.

Parts of Sydney's city centre were blocked off as protesters burned Israeli flags and carried coffins during a march to the Sydney Town Hall.

Fouad Shriedy, a prominent member of the Australian Palestinian community described the Israeli bombing campaign as a Holocaust.

"The whole world is really watching and nothing is being done about saving the lives of the civilian people in Gaza," he said.

He called on the Australian Government to take a stronger stand on the issue.

Five-year-old Sayel said he had a special reason for being there.

"Because I was to save my grandmum and my granddad in Gaza. I think they're gonna die," he said.

Speakers have condemned what they describe as the Australian Government's silence on the issue and have criticised the Egyptian Government for not opening its border to allow people and aid through.

In Melbourne, pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in Federation Square where they also burned Israeli flags and called for an end to the Israeli bombing campaign.

Moumar Meshni from the group Melbourne for Palestine called on the 6,000-strong crowd to be vocal in their protests.

"The way in which we can do something about it is, if we use our collective voices and let the public in Australia and the Government of Australia know that we are not happy with what is going on," he said.

Pro-Israeli protesters gathered outside the State Parliament building in Melbourne, demanding Hamas stop rocket attacks against Israel.

Mike Ginzburg from the Union of Jewish Students called for more international pressure against Hamas.

"We're here today to show solidarity with the state of Israel, but we are also here to show our solidarity with the people of Gaza because in this conflict there is only one enemy and that is Hamas," he said.

Thousands of people have also rallied in Indonesia to condemn Israel's military strikes on Gaza.

About 3,000 members of the Islamist Hizbut Tahrir movement took to the streets in the capital, Jakarta.

Thousands more marched in other centres including the second-largest city Surabaya, where more than 100 police stood guard outside the United States consulate.

Thousands of demonstrators earlier marched in cities across Europe to demand a halt to the Israeli bombing.

Protests were held in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey as the Israeli offensive entered its second week, and before Israel confirmed ground forces had entered Gaza.