Egypt: Thousands march from Al-Azhar to Tahrir in solidarity with Gaza
Friday's prayer at Al-Azhar turns into anti-Israel protest, as demonstrators demand to cut ties with Israel
Ahram Online, Friday 16 Nov 2012
Supporters of Gamaa Islamyia arrive to Tahrir for a pro-Gaza protest, 16 November 2012 (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Friday's prayers at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo broke into a protest of thousands, condemning the ongoing attack on the Gaza strip by Israeli forces.
The Israeli military operation has left at least nineteen Palestinian dead, including Ahmed Jaabari, top commander of Hamas.
"With our blood and souls, we sacrifice everything for you, Palestine,” chanted the masses as they marched to Tahrir, following a historic sermon by Islamic preacher Youssef Qaradawi, having been exiled in the 1960s.
Present at the protest was a number of political figures, including Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagy, Salafist preacher Safwat Hegazy, and member of Al-Wasat party Essam Sultan.
Protesters demanded the Arab world to end diplomatic ties with Israel, in addition to calling for unity of the Muslim and Arab world in the face of Israel's ongoing aggression against the Gaza strip.
The protest witnessed a number of chants in solidarity with the Syrian uprising, denouncing the policies adopted by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad towards the Syrian people.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters from Gamaa Islamiya demonstrated in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, holding the flags of Egypt and Palestine.
The demonstrators reached the square around 14:00 PM, according to Ahram Online reporter on the field.
Since Wednesday's attack on Gaza strip, Cairo has been witnessing a series of protests against the Israeli attacks and demand an end to Egypt’s diplomatic ties with Israel.