Protests in Jordan After Air Strikes

By: Joe Campo Email
By: Joe Campo Email

The Arab world on Saturday reacted in shock and with anger to the Israeli air strikes against the Gaza Strip, which killed at least 155 and wounded more than 310.

Protests erupted around the region and the Egyptian government summoned the Israeli ambassador to express its condemnation of the air strikes, which were carried out in retaliation for the recent barrage of militant rockets and mortars aimed at southern Israel.

The Arab League called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security

Council to discuss Israel's unprecedented wave of air strikes.

Speaking in Cairo, Arab League chief Amr Moussa condemned the violence and said he also had called for an emergency meeting of the Arab Foreign Ministers Council on Sunday.

Egypt, which mediated between Israel and Hamas, said it held Israel responsible for those killed and wounded on Saturday and called for renewed efforts to restore the ceasefire with Hamas, which expired last week.

Egypt also opened its border with the Gaza Strip to receive Palestinian wounded.

Egypt's closure of that border had been condemned by many in the Arab world for abetting Israel's siege of the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip.

An exiled Hamas leader now based in Syria was also quick to denounce the Israeli air strikes.

In a telephone interview with British broadcaster Sky News, Moussa Abu Marzouk

- who serves as the deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau - said Hamas had to "defend ourselves, defend our people, against this aggression."

He added that he believed that "Palestinian people, especially in the resistance movement, are going to react against this aggression very hardly."

A Hamas representative in Lebanon also condemned the Israeli air strikes saying Gazans had "no choice but to be patient and steadfast" in the face of what he called an "assault" by the Israeli military.

Meanwhile, Palestinians in the Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp, in the suburbs of Beirut, held a sit-in protest against the Israeli military operation and called for support for the people of Gaza.

In Jordan hundreds of protesters rallied in the capital, Amman, in front of the UN headquarters, waving Hamas banners and condemning Israel's strikes.

King Abdullah II called for an immediate halt of "all military actions", warning that "violence will only escalate the crisis and will not bring security to Israel."

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