Protests have taken place in Japan and Iraq as the rest of the world braces for the ‘day of jihad’ in the wake of former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s call for Muslims to ‘take the streets’ in the wake of the terror group’s brutal assault on Israel.
‘[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday,’ said Meshaal, who currently heads Hamas’s diaspora office.
The former terror leader, who is based in Qatar, said the governments and peoples of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt have a bigger duty to support the Palestinians in comments recorded earlier this week.
On Friday, photos and videos posted on X showed thousands of Iraqis flooding Baghdad’s Tahir Square in support of Hamas. Giant Palestinian flags were seen laid on the ground alongside the flag of Iraq in a sign of solidarity.
That comes as pictures from Tokyo showed Muslims embroiled in a standoff with police as they protested on the streets.
In New York City, home to around 1.6 million Jewish people, Mayor Eric Adams announced that there would be a step up in security. That’s despite New York Governor Kathy Hochul saying that intelligence had not shown any specific threats of violence.
On Friday, photos and videos posted on X showed thousands of Iraqis flooding Baghdad’s Tahir Square in support of Hamas
Police officers jostle with members of the Muslim community in Japan, during a rally in support of Hamas on Friday
French riot police uses tear gas to disperse demonstrators during a rally on October 12
Malaysian Muslim burn Israeli flags during a rally to show support of Hamas in Kuala Lumpur
A placard showing Israeli and Nazi flag is seen during a demonstration in support of the Palestinian people, in Caracas, Venezuela
A demonstrator is dragged away by police during a demonstration against neo-colonialism and globalisation where protesters were shouting ‘Free Palestine!’ in Berlin
In Germany, the head of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation which fights against right-wing extremism told DailyMail.com: ‘We kind of expect the worst, especially after Hamas published posts and called for attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions for today.’
Anti-Israeli demonstrations are nothing new in Germany, especially in Berlin. Last April, for example, around 500 protested gathered in Berlin’s Neukölln district for an anti-Israel demonstration, which turned on journalists covering the event, pushing them over, kicking them, spitting at them and shouting ‘dirty Jew’, ‘Jewish sh**’ and ‘Zionist press’.
It became so violent and life-threatening that a team of the 160 police officers present had to force their way through the crowd, trying to avoid shower upon shower of stones and wooden banners, all to rescue a journalist that had been wrestled to the ground and was being repeatedly kicked.
Then Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser tweeted: ‘There is no place for antisemitism in our society. We must never get used to antisemitic insults – no matter where and from whom they come.’
Given the recent massacre in Israel, however, the current security situation for Jews in Germany must also now be viewed as critical, says the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.
Khaled Meshaal – a former Hamas chief – has called for protests to take place across the Muslim world on Friday in support of the Palestinians
People attend a pro-Palestine rally in Republique Square, Paris, France on October 12
Supporters of Muttahida Shariat Mahaz Pakistan conservative party during a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian people in Peshawar, Pakistan
A pro-Palestine protest is held outside The Israeli embassy in London, Kensington, October 9
‘Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan… This is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibility,’ Meshaal said in a recorded statement. ‘To all scholars who teach jihad… to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application (of theories).’
Jordan and Lebanon are home to the largest number of Palestinian refugees.
Meshaal’s call for a Friday 13th uprising was reiterated by Hamas itself, according to the Israeli-run, Washington DC-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
MEMRI said that Hamas urged its supporters in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel to rise up in what he called ‘the Al-Aqsa Flood’ – echoing what the the secretive Palestinian mastermind Mohammed Deif calls the attack he launched on Saturday against Israel.
The phrase Israel’s most wanted man used in an audio tape broadcast as Hamas fired thousands of rockets out of the Gaza Strip over the weekend signaled the attack was their payback for Israeli raids at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque.
‘We declare next Friday, ”The Friday of the Al-Aqsa Flood,” as a day of general mobilization in our Arab and Islamic world and among the free people of the world,’ Meshaal’s statement said, which was sent to Reuters news agency.
‘It is a day to rally support, offer aid, and participate actively.
‘It is a day to expose the crimes of the occupation, isolate it, and foil all its aggressive schemes. It is a day to demonstrate our love for Palestine, Jerusalem, and Al-Aqsa.
‘It is a day for sacrifice, heroism, and dedication, and to earn the honour of defending the first Qibla of Muslims, the third holiest mosque, and the ascension of the trusted Messenger.’
Palestinian and Israeli supporters clashed at a London Underground station on Monday night as police desperately tried to keep the peace
Pictures from Amsterdam show police parked outside Jewish schools on Friday. The schools are closed on Friday
Meshaal also praised those who took part on the attack in Israel. Oh my brothers and sisters, oh all my family and a quarter of this nation,’ he said. ‘These are your brothers and sisters who created this glory. They created this flood: Al-Aqsa Flood.’
The terrorist group said all should back their ‘just cause’.
‘We call upon the free people of the world to mobilize in solidarity with our Palestinian people and in support of their just cause and legitimate rights to freedom, independence, return, and self-determination,’ the group said.
There have already been several protests following Saturday’s attack by Hamas against Israel, including on the streets of the UK and Australia.
While some have been held in solidarity with the victims on both sides of the conflict, others have demonstrated the deep and ugly divisions that are felt around the world over the issue.
In London on Monday, pro-Palestine protesters – some with flags and flares – banged drums and chanted ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’. At other protests across the UK, activists proclaimed: ‘Let there be bloodshed.’
Video showed dozens of police officers attempting to separate demonstrators at High Street Kensington Tube station in west London as more than 1,000 pro-Palestine activists gathered on the streets outside.
In Sheffield, video footage posted on social media showed two people scaling the city’s town hall and pulling down an Israeli flag during a pro-Palestinian demonstration outside the building on Tuesday evening.
The flag was seen to be thrown from the landmark 200ft high Victorian structure and replaced with the Palestinian flag, to cheers from those gathered below.
On the other side of the globe in Sydney, a pro-Palestinian rally outside the city’s iconic Opera House on Monday ignited fury in the country after a small group were filmed chanting ‘gas the Jews’ while waving a Palestinian flag, in sickening scenes.
In response to the protests and the escalating situation in Israel, the head of Australia’s domestic intelligence agency on Thursday warned about the potential for opportunistic violence and called for calm as tensions rise ahead of another planned pro-Palestinian protest in response to the Israel-Hamas war.
In rare public statement, Mike Burgess, head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) said protests and rallies following the attacks by Hamas are likely to continue and he remained concerned about opportunistic violence.
Spanish supporters of Israel gather in Madrid to show their solidarity with the Jewish state
The rally in the Spanish capital was held out
Pro-Israel students protest at New York City’s Columbia University in the wake of student’s groups statements in support of Hamas
Speaking on Thursday, a woman who hosted a press conference held by two British people whose relatives were kidnapped by Hamas gunmen on Saturday condemned those who celebrated the atrocities.
As the conference began, the host gave an impassioned speech before handing over to Noam and Sharon.
‘Hamas… is a modern day death squad. They went door to door, snatched babies from their mothers and children from their beds and brutally, cold-bloodedly slaughtered them,’ she said.
‘Girls were raped over their friends’ bodies, many survivors were kidnapped.
‘These horrific acts were celebrated on the streets of Tehran, Gaza and even by some here in London. We have never before in Israel experienced such a traumatic event, which will take years, if not generations, to overcome.
‘This is the biggest hostage crisis the world has faced in decades,’ she added.
Meshaal’s rallying call to the Muslim world came as Israel vowed to escalate its response to an attack by Hamas with a ground offensive, after Israeli fighter jets struck more than 200 targets in Gaza city overnight.
Gaza’s health ministry said at least 1,354 people have been killed and more than 6,000 injured in the crowded coastal enclave.
Members of the New York City Police Department Counterterrorism unit patrol in Times Square Thursday. A former Hamas leader has called for a ‘Day of Jihad’ on Friday
There is an increased police presence outside Barclays Center before a preseason game for Brooklyn Nets on Thursday
On Saturday, Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip rampaged through parts of southern Israel, in the deadliest single attack in Israel’s history.
The bodies of at least 1,300 people have been recovered, a number that could rise.
Most were civilians gunned down in their homes, on the streets or at a dance party that was attacked by gunmen who stormed across the border from Gaza.
Scores of Israeli and foreign hostages were also taken back to Gaza by the terrorists, with Israel saying it has identified 97 of them so far.
The full scale of the killings has emerged in recent days after Israeli forces reclaimed control of towns, finding homes strewn with bodies. They say they found women who had been raped and killed, and children who were shot and burned.
Israel has responded so far by putting Gaza, home to 2.3 million people, under total siege and launching by far the most powerful bombing campaign in the 75-year history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, destroying whole neighbourhoods.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said fuel powering emergency generators at hospitals could run out within hours.
‘The human misery caused by this escalation is abhorrent, and I implore the sides to reduce the suffering of civilians,’ ICRC regional director Fabrizio Carboni said in a statement on Thursday.
‘As Gaza loses power, hospitals lose power, putting newborns in incubators and elderly patients on oxygen at risk. Kidney dialysis stops, and X-rays canât be taken. Without electricity, hospitals risk turning into morgues.’
Smoke plumes billow during Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on October 12, 2023
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Israel on Thursday on a trip to show solidarity with Israel, help prevent the war from spreading and push for the release of hostages, including American citizens.
He will also visit Jordan on Friday to meet King Abdullah and Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority that operates limited self-rule in the West Bank.
Qatar is also working with the United States to try and establish a line of communication with Hamas to try and negotiate for the release of hostages, a top U.S. official said on Wednesday.
John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, was asked at an earlier briefing whether the administration is in contact directly or indirectly with Hamas about securing their release, and whether he could describe their condition.
‘Now, where they are and in what condition, no,’ said Kirby.
He said the White House does not know if they are being kept together, and whether they are being moved around.
‘Sadly we don’t know. And that makes efforts very, very difficult.’
He also told ABC White House Correspondent Mary Alice Parks he is ‘not aware of any specific proof of life on any individual hostage.’
Kirby added that the U.S. is in discussion with countries that have lines of communications with Hamas, such as Qatar, to discuss working to free the hostages. Several former senior Hamas leaders live in Qatar.
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