Thousands of people demonstrated across the Arab world on Friday against Israel’s attack on a fleet of boats trying to bring aid to the Gaza Strip, which left at least nine killed.
Egyptians held several demonstrations, the largest in the northern city of Alexandria where 15,000 people attended, led by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition group.
Protesters called for cutting ties with Israel and closing all Israeli embassies across the Arab world.
In Cairo, a protest took place in the old quarter of the capital, where dozens of activists were surrounded by security forces who did not allow them to move from al—Azhar mosque.
Around 200 Jordanians protested near the Israeli embassy in Amman, calling for the expulsion of the ambassador.
Organizers had hoped the “Freedom Flotilla,” carrying 700 activists and 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid, would have been a successful attempt to break Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip.
In Lebanon, hundreds started a march from the Great Mosque of al— Mansouri, chanting slogans calling on Arab governments to show solidarity with Gaza in order to get Israel to lift their siege.
In a sit—in in Syria, university students and professors expressed their solidarity with the flotilla and called for sanctions against Israel.
During their Friday sermons, preachers and scholars in Damascus condemned the attack as a “new crime which targeted defenceless supporters” who wanted to break the siege on Gaza.
Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, including at sea, after the Islamist movement Hamas seized control of the enclave in June 2007.