Protester killed in West Bank; world reacts to Gaza conflict

Monday, January 5, 2009

Qalqilyah is north west of Jerusalem, close to the 1967 boundary with Israel.

During a Palestinian rally in Qalqilyah in the West Bank against Israeli attacks on Gaza, Mufid Saleh Walweel, 22, was shot and killed Sunday by Israeli forces, according to Palestinian medical officials. Meanwhile protests around the world took place in response to Israel's latest attacks and ground assault on Gaza.

On Friday in Chicago, 4,000 people marched from Tribune Plaza to the Israeli Consulate demanding an end to the occupation of Palestine, and to the raids on Gaza. Another 40,000 people gathered in Morocco to protest what they saw as the complicity of the Arab regimes in the attack.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters in Indonesia asked the Indonesian government to send troops to Gaza to fight against the Israelis who they called a “terrorist” force. On the same day in Toronto, Canada, 1,000 people gathered in the business district to protest Israeli actions. In addition 10,000 people marched past United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown's residence in London, hurling hundreds of shoes at his home.

International outcry was not limited to civilian action. Louis Michel, the European Union's humanitarian aid commissioner said in a statement on Sunday that “blocking access to people who are suffering and dying is also a breach of humanitarian law.” The statement promised 3 million euros of emergency EU aid to the people of Gaza.

Al Jazeera says that 507 Palestinians have been killed and 2,700 wounded since Israeli bombardments on the Gaza Strip began in late December. Four Israelis were killed in that same time by Hamas rockets fired out of Gaza.