Immediately after Israel assassinated Hamas’s military leader, Ahmed Jabari, and publicly announced its launch of Operation Pillar of Defense on Wednesday, activists around the world began demonstrating against what they termed Israeli aggression in Gaza. Protests took place in Cairo, Washington, D.C., New York, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Seoul, Rome, and other European cities.
Protests were also planned for Hebron and Ramallah Saturday afternoon.
Some called on the international community to level sanctions on Jerusalem; others denounced the West’s support of Israel.
In Istanbul Saturday, protesters burned the Israeli flag and a poster of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Thousands gathered in Cairo Friday and chanted slogans in support of Gaza Strip against Israel’s “blatant aggression.”
In New York, some 250 activists stood outside the Israeli Consulate at 42nd Street Friday and chanted “Free, Free, Palestine!” and “Hey Israel, what do you say, how many kids did you kill today?” They were joined by the ultra-religious anti-Zionist group Naturei Karta. A small, opposing group congregated across the street and retorted:“Israel wants peace, Hamas wants terror” and “God bless America. God bless Israel.”
Similar rallies also took place in South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, in front of the Israeli embassy. “Protestors laid flowers on a temporarily built memorial, for Palestinians who have died in the last couple of days,” China’s Xinhua reported.
Activists carrying the Palestinian flag and donning keffiyehs in Washington D.C. stood outside the White House Friday and chanted “Zionism is racism,” and “Free Gaza, free Palestine.” One activist said: ”I don’t know if [US President Barack] Obama’s in there, but if he is, I hope he hears us,” Channel 10 News reported.
On Thursday, some 150 protesters demonstrated against the Israeli operation in downtown San Francisco.
Some of the activists said their aim was prevent “another Operation Cast Lead,” the group Gaza Youth Break Out wrote on their Twitter feed.
Known as Emergency Global Actions, some of the protests were organized by a host of Palestinian solidarity groups, reported Mondoweiss, a Mideast-related news blog. The site also offered a list of dozens of protest locations across South America, Europe, Asia, and North America.