In Bahrain: Police clash with Anti-Israel demonstrators
Police in the kingdom of Bahrain clashed Wednesday with several hundred protesters chanting "death to America" and "death to Israel" and trying to march to the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, witnesses said.
The witnesses added that police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd of around 500 high school students. Many of the demonstrators wore black clothing in mourning for Palestinians killed in Israel's continuous military operations in the West Bank, according to AP.
A protest outside the embassy on April 5th deteriorated into violence, with protesters throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails into the embassy grounds and setting a satellite dish and a sentry box on fire. Police guarding the embassy fired tear gas and rubber bullets. A protester who was hit in the head by a rubber bullet died two days after the incident.
Wednesday's clashes took place in Manama, several hundred meters from the U.S. Embassy.
Scores of riot police were deployed outside the embassy. "U.S. and Israel are the terrorists," read one banner carried by the protesters.
Bahraini protesters have demanded that U.S. forces leave Bahrain, a tiny island in the Gulf that is home to the base of the U.S. 5th Fleet.
In addition, Bahrainis have been angered by U.S. Ambassador Ronald Neumann, who was at an April 3rd mock U.N. forum at which a Bahraini student who was playing the role of a Palestinian delegate called for a minute of silence for Palestinian victims of Israeli-Palestinian violence.
Soon after, Neumann, a keynote speaker at the forum, called on the gathering to remain standing out of respect for Israeli victims as well. Neumann said in a statement later that "mourning for innocent lives being lost on both sides is the least we owe to our common humanity." Arabs in Bahrain and elsewhere, though, condemned Neumann's remarks as one-sided, AP said.
Street demonstrations have swept throughout the Arab world since Israel began its military campaign in Palestinian territories in search of militants. The U.S is seen as supporting Israel's crackdown on the Palestinians.
Some of the protests also were directed against Arab governments, seen as doing too little to support the Palestinians in their 20-month-old uprising against Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza.
Meanwhile, in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a cultural center run by the U.S. Embassy was closed Wednesday following clashes there Tuesday that left one student dead and around 100 injured. The death took to four the number of known fatalities linked to the Arab protests. The others occurred in Bahrain, Jordan and Yemen.
In a separate development, on Tuesday, leaders of Islamic groups throughout the Middle East region and elsewhere published a declaration accusing Arab governments of betraying the Palestinians and saying jihad, or holy war, "has become a religious duty of every Muslim."
The declaration was signed by the leaders of Hizbullah, Hamas and Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, AP added. Other signatories were leaders of Islamic groups in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Syria, Morocco, Iran, Malaysia, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Libya, Iraq, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa and Mauritania. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)