Monday, December 29, 2008

The World Protests Against Israel

Israel Air Strikes Spark Protests Worldwide AFP

LONDON (AFP) — Demonstrators in cities around the world are gathering to protest against the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip that have killed more than 300 people in the Palestinian territory.

Earlier, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called for an "urgent ceasefire and immediate halt to all violence" in Gaza.

A call to "urgently halt" the military action also came from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who spoke to his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni.

The top diplomats in Italy and Spain, Franco Frattini and Miguel Angel Moratinos, also spoke by telephone with Livni who said Israel would try "to limit the suffering of the people of Gaza," the Italian foreign ministry said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country currently holds the European Union presidency, told Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas by telephone of his grave concerns about the escalating violence in the region and the need for both sides to stop their aggressions.

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday denounced the violence between Israel and Hamas-controlled Gaza, and urged everyone involved in the "tragic situation in the Middle East" to strive for humanity and wisdom.

The UN chief added his voice to the UN Security Council's call for an immediate end to hostilities and urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid into the poverty-stricken territory.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "deplores that violence is continuing today, and he strongly urges once again an immediate stop to all acts of violence," his spokeswoman Michele Montas said in a statement.

See Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East .

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