Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Massive protests of students and unions in Egypt against perceived encroachment of Al-Aqsa

Students at Mansoura University burn an Israeli flag. (picture Alsayed Albaz, Al-Masri al-Youm)

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police broke out in and around Jerusalem on Tuesday after the re-opening and dedication of the Hurva synagogue 300 meters from the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and the announcement on Sunday that Israel is to build another 1600 appartments in Arab East-Jerusalem. Jerusalem wasn' t the only place where protests took place, however. The Egyptian newspaper Al-Masri al-Youm reported that thousands of students from the Muslim Brotherhood gathered at 18 universities across Egypt yesterday to protest Israeli encroachment on Al-Aqsa mosque and the inclusion of the Ibrahimi and Bilal mosques in a list of Israeli heritage sites. Students burned the Israeli flag and chanted angry slogans against Israel, accusing the country of attempting to Judaize Al-Aqsa.
Cairo University students began their protests two days ago with a sit-in, and then took to the campus where they were surrounded by security forces. Clashes broke out when security forces attempted to stop protesters from the Faculty of Engineering from joining other students in front of Cairo University's main gate.
At Ain Shams University, security forces prevented protesting students from entering the campus, triggering friction with security forces and forcing the students to continue their protest off campus.
At Al-Azhar University, around 3000 students staged protests against Israeli raids.
In total, more than 30,000 students protested at universities across Egypt. The universities of Tanta, Al-Azhar (Tanta Branch), Zagazig, Mansoura, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Alexandria and Minya were all shaken by protests against Israel.
Members from the inter-syndicate coordination committee in Alexandria also organized protests in front of the Supreme Court of Justice. Members from the pharmacists, teachers and lawyers syndicates, the Teachers Without a Syndicate Movement, Kefaya, the Ghad Party, and the Karama party joined in the protests.
Dozens of lawyers protested in front of the Lawyers Syndicate headquarters in Cairo to express their rejection of Israeli violations of Al-Aqsa. The protesters called for relations with Israel to be severed and its ambassador ejected. The protesters also urged Arab governments to stand up to Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa.

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