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Protests across region against Israel's attacks on Gaza

Demonstrations were held in the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon and Iran.

Syrian protesters held a placard yesterday showing two missiles - one with a Syrian flag, the other with a Star of David - plummeting towards the ground as plumes of smoke rise from the town below.

"War against Terrorism!" reads the caption on the placard, raised during a protest in the northern town of Kfar Nabal.

The residents of the town were among thousands of Syrians who took to the streets after Friday prayers, chanting in solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza and the new Syrian National Coalition opposition.

But the sentiment was not limited to Syria, as protests against Israel's attacks on Gaza spread across the region yesterday.

Crowds in Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon and Iran demonstrated against the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

"Hamas, bomb Tel Aviv!" said protesters in the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday.

In Cairo's Tahrir Square, several thousand protesters gathered outside Al Azhar Mosque and chanted: "We will go to Gaza in our millions."

"It's the least we can do," said one of the demonstrators, Ahmed Selim. "We need to show Israel our anger."

About 2,000 protesters gathered in front of a mosque in Alexandria, some holding posters demanding Egypt's border crossing to Gaza be opened to allow aid into the impoverished enclave, which is controlled by Hamas.

Hundreds also gathered in the cities of Ismailia, Suez and El Arish to denounce Israel's attacks.

An estimated 4,000 people in Tunisia's capital heeded the call of the ruling Islamist Ennahda party to voice their opposition to Israel's actions.

Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency said yesterday that rallies against Israel took place in Istanbul and several other cities.

"We will not turn a blind eye to this genocide," Huseyin Kaptan, an official from the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or IHH, told a rally in the city of Bursa.

The IHH tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza but the aid ship was raided by Israel in 2010, leaving nine Turks dead.

Protesters also called for "the destruction of Tel Aviv" during rallies in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Iranians took to the streets in Tehran and several other cities and chanted "Death to Israel" and "Death to America", according to ISNA.

"One must salute the Palestinians' popular resistance and the response they have given to the Zionist regime," Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said in the capital.

The Iranian regime, a key financial supporter of Hamas, called for the protests.

* Agence France-Presse with additional reporting by Reuters and Bloomberg News

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