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Protests against Gaza violence in West Bank

Nov. 14, 2012 10:26 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 15, 2012 7:06 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinians protested Wednesday in the occupied West Bank after Israel launched a brutal assault on the Gaza Strip, killing at least six people.

In Ramallah, about 200 Palestinians marched against the violence toward Beit El, an Israeli settlement, but Palestinian Authority security forces blocked their path.

A witness told Ma'an that at least four people were detained. It was not clear where they were being held late Wednesday, she said.

Two dozen people also held candles in front of the Church of the Nativity, a Ma'an correspondent said.

Palestinian protesters also took to the streets in Jerusalem, an Israeli reporter said.

Mya Guarnieri said that several dozen mostly Palestinian residents of Jerusalem turned up to protest against Israel's escalation in the Gaza Strip.

Around 100 people protested near Tahrir Square in central Cairo on Wednesday, chanting: "From Tahrir to Palestine, it is one people not two."

The protesters were denouncing an Israeli assassination targeting Ahmad al-Jaabari, a leader in Hamas' military wing the al-Qassam Brigades, and airstrikes that killed five others.

Israeli opposition

Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin described the assassination of al-Jaabari as "total insanity."

"Jaabri was behind enforcing all of the recent ceasefire agreements. He sent his troops out to stop the rockets and was prepared to reach a long term ceasefire," Baskin wrote on Facebook.

"Jaabri was also the main interlocutor of the Egyptian intelligence service in reaching ceasefire understandings. Now who are they supposed to talk to? Who can expect the Egyptians to continue to mitigate our relationship with Gaza?"

Israel's major parties and leaders backed the assault on Gaza but there were exceptions.

“I hope assassination will not lead to a further escalation that will cause the residents of the south unnecessary suffering,” Zahava Gal-on of the leftist party Meretz told Israeli media.

“The only way to bring a viable peace to the residents of the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip is by arranging a long-term cease-fire and not by assassinations,” The Times of Israel quoted him as saying.
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