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Arab World Expresses Support for Gaza as Hamas-Israel War Enters Fifth Day

Protesters gather for a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, near Israel's embassy in Amman, Jordan, Oct. 7, 2023.
Protesters gather for a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, near Israel's embassy in Amman, Jordan, Oct. 7, 2023.

Palestinians are receiving support from various parts of the Arab world as the conflict between Hamas and Israel enters its fifth day.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri told journalists at a press conference with visiting Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani that officials from the two sides "discussed the need to stop the escalation of the conflict in Gaza" and the "seriousness of destruction and attacks on civilians."

They also called for the application of "international law regarding treatment of civilians in times of war."

Jordan, meanwhile, sent aid supplies to Egypt for the Palestinian residents of Gaza, according to Saudi-owned al Arabiya TV. It was not immediately clear how Egypt plans to distribute those supplies. The border between Egypt and Gaza is closed and there were scattered reports over the past several days of shelling near the border.

In Syria, government TV broadcast what it called a "student demonstration" in the capital Damascus, with several hundred students chanting slogans in support of the Palestinians and waving Palestinian flags. The students told the TV that they had come from universities across the country to support the Palestinian people.

One young man, who identified himself as a student leader from a university outside Damascus, told the TV that he and other Syrian students stand behind the Palestinian people's battle to free themselves from what he called Israeli occupation.

He said that the students are standing proudly in support of the Palestinian people and that they want to tell them that their cause is our cause and that they wish them victory in their struggle.

Saudi-owned Asharq al Awsat newspaper reported that Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati met with top security officials to "discuss security measures being taken across the country." U.S. Ambassador to Beirut Dorothy Shea met with Miqati and parliament speaker Nabih Berri, warning them Tuesday of "the consequences of [the pro-Iranian] Hezbollah militia's participation in the Gaza war," according to the Beirut daily Al Liwa.

In Iraq, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani defended the deadly weekend attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel's southern border communities and urged Iraqis to support the Palestinian cause.

He said that the Hamas attack on Israel is a normal reaction to the massive injustice that the Palestinian people have been subjected to in recent years.

Arab media broadcast a video of a crowd of a few dozen Iraqi Shiite religious leaders and their supporters demonstrating in the narrow streets of the Baghdad district of Khadimiya, chanting slogans in favor of the Palestinians and against Israel.

On Monday, influential Iraqi Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to hold a "peaceful" million-man demonstration in favor of the Palestinian cause, while urging demonstrators to "burn Israeli flags."

In Algeria, the country's parliament speaker Brahim Boughali asked lawmakers to stand as he recited an Islamic prayer for the dead to honor Palestinians that have been killed in the war between Israel and Hamas. Boughali did not mention Israeli casualties of the conflict.