Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip took to streets on Friday in large demonstrations condemning Israeli aggression against Palestinian prisoners and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Palestinian Islamic Movement in Gaza, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad Movement called on Palestinians to go out into the streets in show of their anger at the continuous Israeli violations against Palestinian prisoners and holy sites.
Protesters started from main streets of cities across Gaza and ended at the main squares in each city. The largest gathering was in the yard of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza City.
People raised placards calling for international action against the Israeli violations and chanted various slogans against Israel.
Before the protest, the Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyyeh, led the Friday Prayer and called for an end to the Israeli violations. He expressed his deep condolences to the family and friends of the Palestinian shot by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank two weeks ago while taking part in a peaceful protest.
Haniyyeh went on to denounce the expected visit by US president Barack Obama to the region and called it an attempt to divert Palestinian attention from internal reconciliation to negotiations with the Israeli occupation.
He said that the aim of Obama’s visit is to support Israel as it rides out the wave of international anger against settlements, violence against Palestinian prisoners and attacks against Palestinian worshipers and holy sites.
The Prime Minister also congratulated Palestinian woman on the occasion of International Woman’s Day and hailed the fortitude of the Palestinian women who serve extended sentences behind Israeli bars.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad