Global protests continue against Israel as the death toll in Gaza hits 500 including civilian casualties. As the number of people killed in Israeli military invasion of Gaza
rose to 500 yesterday, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has insisted
that the offensive in the contentious strip will continue
He also hinted that Palestinian militant group, Hamas, suffered a "hard blow in the course of the military attack. Barak also yesterday told Israeli Members of Parliament that the country is yet to achieve its objective in the strip.
Israel Pounds Gaza, Vows to Continue Campaign
People across several continents have staged rallies to protest against Israel's ongoing bombardment of Gaza.
Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday, after calls by Hamas for a "day of wrath". "We will sacrifice our soul and our blood for Gaza," chanted the
demonstrators, shouting pro-Hamas slogans and calling on fighters to
"hit Tel-Aviv".In Jerusalem, protesters clashed with police after Friday prayers.
With a view to curb protests, Israel sealed off the West Bank for
the day as well as key parts of Jerusalem. Men aged under 50 years were
prohibited from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque.
safety of Palestinians before marching to the US embassy, which was guarded by hundreds of police.
Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday, after calls by Hamas for a "day of wrath".
"We will sacrifice our soul and our blood for Gaza," chanted the demonstrators, shouting pro-Hamas slogans and calling on fighters to "hit Tel-Aviv".In Jerusalem, protesters clashed with police after Friday prayers. With a view to curb protests, Israel sealed off the West Bank for the day as well as key parts of Jerusalem. Men aged under 50 years were prohibited from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque.In the Jordanian capital Amman, riot police fired teargas to push back hundreds of protesters marching towards the Israeli embassy. Several protesters were beaten and arrested by police, the news agency Reuters said.More than 10,000 people marched through Indonesia's capital carrying banners and Palestinian flags. The demonstrators gathered in the city centre to pray for the
Protests were also held in other Indonesian cities after Friday prayers. source
Singer Annie Lennox spoke to Skyy News against the attacks by Israel on the Gaza strip and said she was "shaken to the core" by the deaths of innocent women and children from Israeli bombing.
Mideast Crisis: Annie Lennox tells Sky News her views Singer Annie Lennox tells Sky News why she is lending her support to human rights campaigners calls for an end to the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians.
High-profile campaigners have called for an immediate end to the
Israeli operation in Gaza. Annie Lennox, Ken Livingstone, Alexei Sayle
and Bianca Jagger were among the speakers at a news conference on the
issue. Ms Lennox accused Israel of "slaughter".
An almost tearful Annie Lennox described the sadness she felt when she watched news of the Israeli strikes on Gaza - attacks which Israel says were in response to rocket fire by Hamas and its allies.
"I was thinking as a mother and as a human being - how was this going to be a solution to peace?" she said.
"How are we going to find the answer in this way?"
She went on: "There has to be a place, ultimately, where people come to the table.
"The reason I'm here today is to use my freedom of speech, my right as an individual in a free world, to encourage people to get together and protest against this means of 'conflict resolution' which will never work."
Lennox's emotional plea was followed by comments from Liverpudlian writer and comedian Alexei Sayle, who has a Lithuanian Jewish background.
He said: "It is important that Jewish people who have a public profile speak out to say that this has not been done in our name.
"I think that Israel has an idea of itself as being noble. "When you attack somebody but you have this idea of yourself that you're the good guy - you think 'how can this be?'
"What you do is blame the people you have killed - and you hear all the time from Israeli spokespeople that they are angry with the people that they have murdered, for making them murder them.
"It is the psychologist of the murderer, the rapist, the bully. And that's what Israel is in this situation."
War on Gaza: Annie Lennox 'Shaken To The Core'
Israeli forces consolidated their hold on parts of Gaza's north Monday, pounding the territory from the air, land and sea and killing at least seven children and six other civilians in a bruising campaign against Hamas militants. (Jan. 5)
Israel has taken its barrage of airstrikes in Gaza to the Web, creating a YouTube channel this week to post footage of its air force dropping bombs on Hamas targets.
An initial message by the Israel Defense Forces posted on the channel, youtube.com/user/idfnadesk, said Israel wanted to use YouTube to "help us bring our message to the world" with "exclusive footage showing the IDF's operation success" in Gaza.
An IDF spokesman said YouTube was a way to get that message "to as many as we can," though he declined to comment further.
The YouTube channel is just one multimedia platform Israel is using to spread its message on the recent campaign in Gaza, which began Saturday.
The Israeli Consulate in New York also launched a Twitter feed Monday, which it has used to solicit questions from users for a virtual press conference.
The YouTube posts started Monday, with black-and-white aerial military video of Israeli aircraft striking "rockets in transit" and "terrorist smuggling tunnels." Another video in color showed what are identified as Israeli trucks transporting aid into Gaza.
The statement, still posted as of Tuesday night, said YouTube had taken down some of the IDF videos but, "due to blogger and viewer support, YouTube has returned some of the footage they removed."
The statement was removed sometime Wednesday, replaced with one that reads in part, "We thank you for visiting us and will continue to update this site with documentation of the IDF's humane action and operational success in operation 'Cast Lead.' "
By Wednesday afternoon, the channel had 5,600 subscribers and 16 videos posted. The most popular was a video titled "Israeli Air Force Strikes Hamas Government Complex," which shows a large compound with three structures methodically leveled in an air assault Tuesday. Another video shows a building identified as the office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniya in crosshairs before disappearing in a dark cloud of smoke.
According to its Web site, YouTube has a policy that prohibits "inappropriate content," including violent images. While YouTube wouldn't specifically address the IDF statement, a company official said the site relies on its subscribers to flag videos considered inappropriate.
"We review all flagged content quickly, and if we find that a video does violate the guidelines, we remove it, on average in under an hour," said Victoria Grand, YouTube's policy chief. "Occasionally, a video flagged by users is mistakenly taken down. When this is brought to our attention, we review the content and take appropriate action, which may include restoring videos that had been removed."
The New York Israeli Consulate's Twitter feed has picked up more than 2,600 followers since it launched Monday to share its point of view with a younger demographic, said David Saranga, consul for media and public affairs.
"We saw that there is a big debate, a very vivid debate about the situation in Gaza, and we wanted to bring our point of view, we wanted to share it with people on Twitter," Saranga said. source