Anti-Israel protests have been held in a ‘day of jihad’ across the world today after former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal demanded thousands of Muslims take to the streets to demonstrate amid the ongoing conflict.
Tens of thousands of Muslims demonstrated Friday across the Middle East in support of the Palestinians and against the intensifying Israeli bombardment of Gaza, underscoring the risk of a wider regional conflict as Israel prepares for a possible ground invasion.
From the typically 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 began after the militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel last Saturday.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered Friday in Tahrir Square in the centre of Baghdad, and similar protests have been held in Lebanon and other Arab countries following afternoon prayers.
During some of the protests – like in Iran, Bangladesh and Malaysia – angry demonstrators burned Israeli and American flags. In Beirut, thousands of Hezbollah supporters waved Hezbollah and Palestinian flags while holding pictures of burning Israeli ones.
And in Berlin, home to one of the largest Palestinian diasporas outside the Middle East, pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with riot police, with one bloodied demonstrator being led away from a square in the German capital.
Thousands more gathered in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Friday for a demonstration in support of Palestinians, with many holding banners reading: ‘The victory march will continue, solidarity with Palestine‘ and ‘Stand with Palestine, Liberated Palestine’.
The widespread protests come after former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal demanded thousands take to the streets today.
‘[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday,’ Meshaal, who currently heads Hamas’s diaspora office, said yesterday.
The former terror leader, who is based in Qatar, said the governments and peoples of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt have a bigger duty to support the Palestinians in comments recorded earlier this week. Jordan and Lebanon are home to the largest number of Palestinian refugees.