Hezbollah: Defending Gaza means offering blood of martyrs
Tens of thousands demonstrate against Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip across the Arab world.
Tens of thousands of Lebanese Shi'ite protesters, chanting "Death to America, Death to Israel," massed in Beirut on Monday, calling for an end to Israeli strikes on Gaza that have killed 320 Palestinians.
In the Jordanian capital, Amman, about 20,000 people staged a demonstration organized by the mainstream Muslim Brotherhood, while in Cairo about 1,000 people rallied to show solidarity with Gaza Palestinians.
"In Gaza today we face, as a nation, a battle against the fate of Palestine and not the fate of the Hamas government," Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared to a throng of demonstrators in Beirut's southern suburbs.
"I join my voice to the voices of other Palestinian leaderships that have called for a third intifada (uprising) in Palestine and other intifidas in both the Arab and Islamic worlds," he said.
"I believe that defending Gaza and the people of Gaza means that the nation should offer the blood of martyrs," Nasrallah said.
His comments echoed those of Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal, who on Saturday said the time for a third intifada had come.
In the Amman rally, protesters urged Hamas to resume a campaign of suicide bombings and intensify rocket attacks.
"Oh Hamas we are your soldiers ... hit them with al-Qassam rockets ... bring the suicide bombers to Tel Aviv," they chanted, waving the green flags of the Muslim Brotherhood who are ideological allies of Hamas and the leftist opposition.
Many Jordanians, whose families originally came from towns and cities in what is now Israel, support Hamas.
The demonstrators lambasted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and urged his country, which has been cooperating with Israel for months in the blockade of Gaza, to allow freedom of movement for Palestinians.
In the Cairo protest outside the Journalists Union building, the crowd, which included Islamists, leftists and Arab nationalists, shouted slogans in support of Gaza Palestinians and condemning Arab governments, including Egypt's.
Similar protests took place in a string of Arab countries on Sunday.
Many governments in the Arab world are seen as collaborators with the United States or Israel by popular Islamist movements.
They called on the Egyptian government to open the Rafah crossing and stop collaborating with Israel in the blockade of the impoverished coastal strip and 1.5 million inhabitants.
About the same number of riot police, armed with batons and shields, penned the protesters into a narrow area on the steps of the union and along the nearby pavement.
6 demonstrators protesting Israeli Gaza op arrested in Tel Aviv
Six protesters were arrested Monday at an unauthorized demonstration against Israel's aerial campaign in the Gaza Strip, held outside the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv.
The protesters, suspected of disturbing the peace, waved Palestinian Liberation Organization flags as they condemned Israel. Police forces that arrived asked the protesters to lower the flags and clear the area. Upon their refusal, police dispersed the protesters forcefully and arrested six of them.
One of the protesters said "Police took advantage of the lack of public support and attacked the protesters with clubs. Two other protesters and I were trying to calm the soldiers and were kicked at. Within minutes I found myself being dragged by my head and shoulders across the sidewalk and into the patrol car." The protester indicated that once the police understood she is Jewish she was released. "The two Arab protesters were of course forced into the vehicle," she added.
Some 200 Palestinians who had entered Israel ilegally and 140 Israeli Arab protesters have been arrested on charges of disturbing the peace since Israel first launched the assault on Gaza, most of whom are from Jerusalem and Northern communities. 31 policemen have been injured.
Israeli Police have launched an operation called "Daylight" aimed at keeping all roads clear. Some 2,400 volunteers have been recruited to reinforce police forces. Some 12,000 officers and 200 patrol vehicles have deployed since the launch of the operation.
Police emphasized that its forces were following riot guidelines decided upon in advance. Authorized protests are permitted but any lawbreaking, including any use of force, is not tolerated.
Police forces are in contact with the Arab leadership in an attempt to keep protests calm and restrained.