Thousands of Palestinians Protest against Sharm el-Sheikh Summit
Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip protested Monday against the Sharm el-Sheikh summit, but expressed support for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in his face-off with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Protesters staged anti-summit marches in four towns across the Gaza Strip, with the biggest bringing some 3,000 demonstrators onto the streets of Gaza City, an AFP correspondent said.
They waved Palestinian flags and portraits of Arafat and called on Arafat to resist United States and Israeli "pressure" at the summit.
The protesters marched through the streets of the city, gathering outside the Palestinian Authority parliament building where they burned three wooden coffins symbolizing the Israeli-Palestinian accords, the Jewish state and the US.
"Tell the criminal Ehud Barak that the Arab people cannot be humiliated," they shouted, and "American and Israeli pressure will not stop the uprising."
Some demonstrators fired in the air, but there were no reports of violence.
Other marches hostile to the summit drew hundreds of Palestinians onto the streets in the southern Gaza Strip towns of Rafah and Khan Yunes and Deir el-Balah in the center.
In the West Bank town of Ramallah, around 50 masked members of the armed Tanzim wing of Arafat's Fatah organization fired in the air and threatened war on Jewish settlers.
The protest occurred as about 1,000 people attended the funeral of a Palestinian who died Sunday from wounds received three days earlier in a clash with Israeli soldiers.
There were no immediate reports of violence.
In Hebron, four Palestinians were hurt during brief clashes with Israeli troops after around 1,000 students at Hebron University demonstrated against the summit - GAZA CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)