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Arabs React With Anger to Israeli Invasion of Gaza


Arab satellite television networks are devoting non-stop coverage to Israel's invasion of Gaza, while demonstrations and protests are putting pressure on Arab leaders to react to the invasion.

Top Arab satellite TV networks Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera TV have been running non-stop coverage of Israel's invasion of Gaza, showing images of death and destruction, mixed with martial music.

Egypt and Jordan have officially condemned Israel's invasion of Gaza and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit deplored the failure of the U.N. Security Council to call for a ceasefire, saying that it "gives Israel a green light to continue its invasion."

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hussam Zaki says Egypt has summoned the ambassadors of the five permanent Security Council nations to express its extreme displeasure at their unwillingness to call for a ceasefire.

In Beirut, a crowd of mostly Hezbollah supporters tried to breach barb-wire protecting the U.S. Embassy, but were repelled when police fired teargas.

In another Hezbollah sponsored rally in southern Beirut, demonstrators chanted in support of Gaza's militant Islamic Hamas group, applauding its spokesman Usama Hamdan, who called for jihad against Israel on all fronts.

This battle, he says, will put an end forever to the option of a negotiated settlement with Israel, and it will also show which leaders are fit to lead the Arab nation - those that negotiate with Olmert and Perez or those who fight them. This is 'jihad', he proclaimed, give us victory or give us death.

Fiery rhetoric and angry protests also engulfed other parts of the Middle East, including the Moroccan capital Rabat, Istanbul, Turkey and the Syrian capital Damascus. Riot police dispersed demonstrators in the Algerian capital, Algiers.

Arab League spokesman Hesham Youssef said it is not only the Arab world that is angry over Israel's invasion of Gaza, but also public opinion in many other parts of the world:

"You just simply have to watch the TV in conveying messages from all over the world and demonstrations from cities and capitals all over the world to know that it is not only the Arab world that is angry, but there is anger that can be felt by tens if not hundreds of millions of people around the world," said Youssef.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa told reporters in New York that "all options are now on the table," referring to diplomatic missions that will get under way, Monday, including visits by French President Nicholas Sarkozy to Israel and the Palestinian territories, and by international special envoy Tony Blair. An emergency Arab summit, he says, may be held, if all else fails.

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