Tens of 1000’s throughout Center East protest Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

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By Calvin S. Nelson

Tens of 1000’s of Muslims demonstrated Friday throughout the Center East in assist of the Palestinians and in opposition to the intensifying Israeli bombardment of Gaza, underscoring the chance of a wider regional battle as Israel prepares for a attainable floor invasion.

From the sometimes sedate streets of downtown Amman in Jordan, to Yemen’s war-scarred capital of Sanaa, crowds of Muslim worshippers poured into the streets after weekly Friday prayers, angered by devastating Israeli airstrikes on Gaza that started after the militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented shock assault on Israel final Saturday.

On the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis, Israeli police have been allowing solely sure older males, girls and kids to enter the sprawling hilltop compound for prayers, making an attempt to restrict the potential for violence. Solely 5,000 worshippers made it into the location, the Islamic endowment that manages the mosque stated. On a typical Friday, some 50,000 carry out the prayers.

An Related Press reporter watched police enable only a Palestinian teenage woman and her mom into the compound out of 20 worshippers who tried to get in, a few of them even over the age of fifty. Younger Palestinian males who have been refused entry gathered on the steps close to Lion’s Gate, eyes downcast, till police shouted at them and shepherded them exterior the Previous Metropolis ramparts altogether.

“We won’t stay, we will not breathe, they’re killing the whole lot that’s good inside us,” stated Ahmad Barbour, a 57-year-old cleaner, red-faced and seething after police blocked him from getting into for prayers.

“The whole lot that’s forbidden to us is allowed to them,” he added, referring to the Israelis.

The mosque sits in a hilltop compound sacred to each Jews and Muslims, and conflicting claims over it have spilled into violence earlier than. Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third-holiest website in Islam and stands in a spot identified to Jews because the Temple Mount, which is the holiest website in Judaism.

A whole bunch of younger Palestinian worshippers who had been turned away from the Previous Metropolis threw down small prayer rugs on the road within the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz and prayed within the open. When a few of the males began shouting, Israeli police charged into the group with batons and fired rounds of tear fuel on the worshippers, wounding at the very least six individuals, stated the Palestinian Pink Crescent.

1000’s demonstrated in Amman in neighboring Jordan, some crying out: “We’re going to Jerusalem as hundreds of thousands of martyrs!”

“What do they need from Palestine? Do they count on them to go away?” requested protester Omar Abu-Sundos. “For what stays of Palestine to go away? They will not go away.”

Pro-Palestinian demonstration in Jordan
Jordanians march from Grand Husseini Mosque to Al-Nahl Sq. after Friday prayer in Amman, Jordan on Oct. 13, 2023.

Laith Al-jnaidi/Anadolu by way of Getty Pictures

In Beirut, 1000’s of supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group waved Lebanese, Palestinian and Hezbollah flags, chanting slogans in assist of Gaza and calling for “demise to Israel.” The Iranian-backed militant group in neighboring Lebanon has launched sporadic assaults because the Hamas assault, however largely stayed on the sidelines of the warfare.

Nonetheless, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary-general warned that it might be “looking out” for the US and British naval vessels heading to the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. officers, together with President Biden, have repeatedly warned Iran and the regional militias Tehran backs to remain out of the battle between Israel and Hamas.

“Your battleships don’t curiosity us, nor do your statements frighten us,” Naim Kassim stated at a rally in a southern suburb of Beirut. “When the time is true to take motion, we’ll achieve this.”

In Baghdad, tens of 1000’s of protesters gathered in Tahrir Sq. — the protest hub of Iraq’s capital — for rallies known as by the influential Shiite cleric and political chief Muqtada al-Sadr.

Pro-Palestine protest in Iraq
1000’s of followers of influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr participate in a rally at Tahrir Sq. in a present of assist for Palestinians in opposition to retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, Oct. 13, 2023.

Ameer Al-Mohammedawi/image alliance by way of Getty Pictures

“We, as Iraqis, know the ache of getting an occupier on our land,” stated protester Alaa al-Arabyia, referring to the U.S. occupation of Iraq following its 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein. “Palestinian girls have husbands, family members and sons combating the occupation. We stand with them of their wrestle.”

U.N. calls Israel’s evacuation order for Gaza “inconceivable”


Throughout Iran, a supporter of Hamas and Israel’s regional archenemy, demonstrators additionally streamed into the streets after prayers. In Tehran, they burned Israeli and American flags, chanting: “Demise to Israel,” “Demise to America,” “Israel might be doomed” and “Palestine would be the conqueror.”

“The Palestinian persons are fed up, now your thought is to destroy Gaza, the homes of the individuals,” Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi stated in a speech within the nation’s southern Fars province. “The individuals of the world and Palestine will trigger hassle for you.”

Iran Israel Palestinians
Iranian women maintain Palestinian flags as they attend a pro-Palestinian rally earlier than the Friday prayer in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 13, 2023.


Within the Syrian capital of Damascus, protesters — together with Palestinians from the Yarmouk refugee camp fashioned after the 1948 warfare surrounding Israel’s creation — additionally rallied.

“I inform the individuals to not go away their properties in any other case they are going to be like our grandparents who left Palestine and got here to Syria however by no means returned,” Ahmad Saeed, a 23-year-old Palestinian residing in Syria, stated, referring to the 1948 warfare.

In Yemen’s Sanaa, held by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels nonetheless at warfare with a Saudi-led coalition, demonstrators crowded the streets waving Yemeni and Palestinian flags. The rebels’ slogan lengthy has been: “God is the best; demise to America; demise to Israel; curse of the Jews; victory to Islam.”

“We’re able to take part actively and ship a whole lot of 1000’s of mujahedeen … .to defend Palestine, the Palestinian individuals and the holy websites,” the Houthi authorities stated in a press release Friday.

After Friday prayers, Egyptian demonstrators ringed the historic Al-Azhar Mosque in downtown Cairo, the Sunni Muslim world’s foremost spiritual establishment, chanting that Israel remained their enemy “era after era.” They repeated the historically nationalistic slogan, “We give our souls and blood to Al-Aqsa.”

Pro-Palestine demonstration in Cairo
Muslims shout out slogans as they protest Israel’s retaliation in opposition to Gaza after Hamas’ assault on Israel at Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, Egypt on Oct. 13, 2023.

Mohamed Elshahed/Anadolu by way of Getty Pictures

In Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad, some worshippers trampled on American and Israeli flags.

“Worldwide media and worldwide courts flip a blind eye to the injustices with the Palestinians. However they solely discover the actions that the Palestinians take to defend themselves,” stated Faheem Ahmed, a worshipper in Karachi. “They name it terrorism.”

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