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|US dives for cover as yahood kill muslims|
|10/07/00 at 21:42:24|
|Palestine violence sparks Oman, Iran marches|
From Arif Ali in Muscat
Laila Shaheen in Kuwait
Omanis and Iranians, angered by Israeli killings of Palestinian demonstrators in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank, marched through main streets in their capitals to show solidarity with the Palestinians. Kuwaiti activists will stage demonstrations today in front of several embassies including the American embassy.
In Muscat, for the third day running, more than a 1,000 demonstrators, mainly students, marched for two hours in the heart of the capital near the Sultan Qaboos Mosque. Policemen were present but did not intervene in the march, a rarity in the sultanate.
An Omani teacher, who was among the protestors, said anything short of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital would be unacceptable to the Arabs. "Today, we are precisely demanding this loudly and collectively," said the teacher who requested anonymity.
In Tehran, some 10,000 people took to the streets to protest the death of the Palestinians.
"The only way left for the liberation of Palestine is resistance and jihad (holy war) against the Zionist occupation," parliament speaker Mahdi Karrubi told the demonstrators in the city's Palestine Square.
"Experience has shown that talks and reconciliation with Israel is an exercise in futility," said Karrubi. Behind the podium from which he spoke, a large banner said: "Death to America." The demonstrators also burned an American flag.
Also, Khaled Meshaal, political leader of the militant Islamic Hamas movement met with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi for talks on the violence, the state IRNA news agency said.
Meshaal, who earlier addressed a rally of nearly 10,000 in downtown Tehran and called for the destruction of Israel, told Kharrazi that only armed resistance had "led to Palestinian unity," IRNA reported.
Qatar has launched a week-long blood drive in aid of Palestinians wounded in the week of clashes and a Qatar Airways flight would take medical aid and a team of five specialist doctors to the Palestinian territories and bring the wounded back to Qatar, the Health Ministry said.
The flight will not depart until Sunday because the Palestinian authorities had said it would take 72 hours to get necessary authorisation for the flight, Qatari officials said.
In Riyadh, the imam of one of the Saudi capital's largest mosques called for jihad against Israel and its supporters.
"Washington supports Israel blindly. American embassies, companies and individuals are legitimate targets and must be targeted by Muslims all over the world," said the imam, Sheikh Mansour bin Ali Al Hussein.
His call for jihad coincided with a U.S. announcement yesterday that its diplomatic missions in the Middle East would be closed to the public for several days due to mounting Arab protests.
In Kuwait, human rights activist and candidate in the upcoming by-elections, Omran Hassan Mohammad, will lead demonstrations which will be held in front of the embassies of the permanent Security Council members to protest the violence against the Palestinians.
"A whole nation is oppressed. We need to speak out against it," Mohammed told Gulf News in a telephone interview.
Mohammed, who is a Shiite activist and teaches chemical engineering at Kuwait University, was picked up by state security officers on Sunday when he staged a one-man protest against the violence in front of the parliament building.
He said he was not charged and was released after 28 hours. He is running for the seat of Al Adiliya constituency which was vacated in August upon the death of liberal legislator Sami Al Munayes.
Mohammed charged any protests against America or Israel are particularly sensitive.
"There are so many secret agents among us and they appear when we speak out about America or Israel. We live among fragile regimes who are afraid that people will join in if I or others set up a protest," he said.
Mohammed was arrested twice in 1998 for demonstrating against U.S. policies in the region.
Today, Mohammad and other activists will stand in a silent protest in front of the American, British, French, Russian and Chinese embassies.
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