Anti-Israel protests rock downtown KL

Thousands march along Jalan Tun Razak towards the US Embassy in an anti – Israel protest, causing massive traffic jams at 2.30pm.

Hours after the United Nations Security Council called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, thousands of people took part in a mammoth rally after Friday prayers that ended up with flag-burning outside the US Embassy in Jalan Tun Razak to protest the Israeli attack on the Palestinian homeland.

Protestors handing over a memorandum to a US Embassy
official (in dark glasses) at the end of the march along
Jalan Tun Razak.

Those going back to the office after prayers or after lunch hour were caught in massive traffic jams as the protestors, carrying placards and banners and shouting anti-Israel and anti-US slogans, snaked their way from the Tabung Haji building to the embassy a few hundred metres away.

Since Israel has no ties with Malaysia, the protestors ended their march at the embassy as the US is a strong ally of Israel. The US had abstained from voting for the UN resolution for a ceasefire which all the other 14 security council members supported.

A 15-member delegation led by PAS vice-president Husam Musa submitted a memorandum to an embassy official. US and Israel flags were set alight there.

At the same time, some 500 people gathered at the National Mosque after prayers where Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his son Mukhriz addressed the crowd, asking them to boycott US currency and goods, as well as Israeli-made goods.

Mahathir also urged people to quit their jobs in American companies.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (third from left) led a rally to boycott US
and Israeli products, outside the National Mosque after Friday prayers.
With him is his son Mukhriz (second from left).

There was also a smaller gathering at the Kampung Baru mosque for the same purpose.

In KUALA TERENGGANU, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak lamented that the world's big powers are blind to the Zionist regime's assault on Gaza, causing hundreds of innocent Palestinians to be killed and thousands of others to suffer.

Bernama quoted him as saying that the failure of these big powers to act to end the long-standing Palestine crisis was highly disappointing.

However, he said, the Malaysian government would not feel discouraged to pressure the big powers to get Israel to end its atrocities in Gaza, which so far had killed more than 700 Palestinians.

"These big powers have strategic interest (in the Middle East) but the Palestinians are the victims, and this is what we regret. We will continue with our efforts (to end the crisis). That is our stand in the Palestine issue.

"But the crisis can only be resolved with international intervention. That is why we have brought the matter to the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly," he told reporters, here, today.