A Friday of anger against Israel in Egyptian mosques

Egypt’s mosques were packed with thousands of demonstrators after the noon prayer on Friday, protesting the killing of activists on board the Freedom Flotilla by Israeli forces. The largest demonstration occurred in Alexandria, where more than 20,000 protesters, including members of various professional syndicates, members of the Muslim Brotherhood and representatives of opposition parties, gathered in front of the Qaid Mosque and chanted slogans in support of the Palestinians.
In the Governorate of Gharbiya, more than 15,000 demonstrators gathered in the cities of Kafr el-Ziat, Basyoun, Qatur, Samnud, el-Mahala, Tanta and Zifti. The demonstrators burned the Israeli flag and demanded the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Cairo, in addition to calling on the religious authorities to sanction a holy war against Israel. Crowded demonstrations also occurred in Arish, Sharqiya, Damietta, Aswan and Assiut.
Meanwhile, a number of sermons delivered on Friday in mosques in Cairo and the governorates called for military confrontation with Israel. Hundreds of worshippers demonstrated in Al-Azhar Mosque, protesting the blockade of Gaza.
In related news, the Free Gaza Movement announced that it had lost contact with the Gaza-bound aid ship Rachel Corrie. An official in the organization, Ari Bones, said she thought Israel was behind the cutoff in communications with the ship that was expected to arrive to the Gaza Strip today.
In an attempt to calm international anger, the government of Israel suggested yesterday that an investigation be conducted into the Freedom Flotilla incident with the participation of international observers.
As angry protests continued in both Arab and international capitals, US President Barack Obama refused to condemn the Israeli attack, describing Tel Aviv’s actions as an expression of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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