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Thousands protest in Egypt against Gaza attacks
Published Friday 16/11/2012 (updated) 17/11/2012 01:37
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Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and senior Hamas leader
Ismail Haniyeh wave to people in Gaza City Nov. 16, 2012.
(Reuters/Ahmed Zakot)
CAIRO (Reuters) -- Thousands gathered in Egyptian cities on Friday to protest against Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip as Egypt's president vowed to support the enclave's people in the face of "blatant aggression".

Western governments are watching Egypt's response to the attacks for signs of a more assertive stance toward Israel since an Islamist came to power in the Arab world's most populous nation.

President Mohamed Mursi is mindful of anti-Israeli sentiment among Egyptians emboldened by last year's Arab Spring uprising but needs to show Western allies his new government is no threat to Middle East peace.

His Prime Minister Hisham Kandil visited Gaza on Friday in a demonstration of solidarity after three days of strikes by Israeli warplanes targeting Gaza militants. Medics say 23 Palestinians have died in the offensive.

Three Israelis were killed by a rocket fired from Gaza on Thursday.

"We see what is happening in Gaza as blatant aggression against humanity," Mursi said in comments carried by Egypt's state news agency. "I warn and repeat my warning to the aggressors that they will never rule over the people of Gaza."

"I tell them in the name of all the Egyptian people that Egypt today is not the Egypt of yesterday, and Arabs today are not the Arabs of yesterday," he said.

Mursi's toppled predecessor Hosni Mubarak was a staunch US ally who upheld a cold but stable peace with Israel.

The new president has vowed to respect a three-decade peace treaty but ties have been strained by protests that forced the evacuation of Israel's ambassador to Cairo last year and cross-border attacks by Islamist militants.

More than 1,000 people gathered near Cairo's al-Azhar mosque after Friday prayers, many waving Egyptian and Palestinian flags.

"Gaza Gaza, symbol of pride", they chanted, and "generation after generation, we declare our enmity towards you, Israel."

"I cannot as an Egyptian, an Arab and a Muslim just sit back and watch the massacres in Gaza," said protester Abdel Aziz Nagy, 25, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Protesters were marching from other areas of Cairo towards Tahrir Square, the main rallying point for last year's uprising.

In Alexandria, around 2,000 protesters gathered in front of a mosque, some holding posters demanding Egypt's border crossing to Gaza be opened to allow aid into the impoverished enclave.

Hundreds also gathered in the Egyptian cities of Ismailia, Suez and al-Arish to denounce Israel's attacks.
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1 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
16/11/2012 17:20
I can fully understand President Mohamed Mursi's and the protestors' angst and anger. They are right in this case. We have betrayed Egypt's devoted diplomatic efforts by "causing" this latest escalation ... and what has it gotten us besides killing our targets and also those not targeted ??? ... Answer: At least 3 of our own people dead and more injured and our homes destroyed. If the The Iron Dome anti-missile defenses were totally missing our deaths/destruction would be even worse.

2 ) 'cast more lead' different / USA
16/11/2012 21:00
egypt will open rafah crossing to let women and children out and fighters in...this is not the mubarah shabas goy regime anymore....depend on egypt to support gaza in every way except direct confrontation with the terrorist IDF

3 ) md abrar / india
23/11/2012 11:44
israil is a bigesst terrerist countery we muslims never except israil terrist activities
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