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Sunday, 7 April, 2002, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Anti-Israeli protests spread
Protesters in Indonesia are battered by a water cannon shot by police
More than 1,000 Indonesians clashed with police
Protests have been held across the world demanding the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and pledging support to the Palestinian people.

French protester in Paris holds a picture of US President George W Bush
The Paris protests were some of the largest held in Europe
Thousands took to the streets of their respective nations as Israel said it planned to speed up its military efforts ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Anger has erupted into violence in several instances, with at least one death reported.

In Morocco, an estimated one million people gathered in the capital Rabat in an officially-sanctioned demonstration on Sunday.

In Cairo, dozens of demonstrators held a protest outside the emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers, many shouting "the liberation of the territories will happen with weapons and not with the peace initiative".

The largest protests in Europe took place in Rome on Saturday where about 20,000 protesters marched through the centre of the city before swelling their ranks to around 50,000 in the Piazza del Popolo, the Associated Press news agency reported.

A protester died in Bahrain on Sunday two days after sustaining a rubber-bullet wound during a mass demonstration outside the US embassy.

The demonstration turned into a riot with protesters hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails into the embassy grounds.

Jordanian officials have denied reports that the death of 10-year-old boy in a Palestinian refugee camp near Amman on Sunday was linked to earlier anti-Israel demonstrations there.

Counter-demonstrations

Hundreds of thousands gathered in the centre of the Moroccan capital Rabat chanting slogans and waving Palestinian flags and banners.

Some American flags were set alight. Riot police line the streets, but there has been no violence so far.

There have been unofficial protests and strikes by high-school students all over Morocco for the last two weeks, but this one is official.

In Paris, more than 20,000 people marched to the Place de la Bastille in a protest organised by anti-racism, communist and pro-Palestinians support groups.


It's important for me to show my support - these people (Palestinians) have neither land nor water

Italian protester Andrea Parrella
Some protesters ripped up Israeli flags while others chanted slogans against Mr Sharon.

Thousands more demonstrated in the cities of Nantes, Rennes, Rouen, Lille, Strasbourg, Metz, Grenoble and Marseilles.

Most of the rallies passed off peacefully, but in the south of France petrol bombs were thrown at a Jewish sports club, and Jewish organisations in the country said they were preparing to hold counter-demonstrations in the next few days.

In the Swiss capital of Bern more than 9,000 people attended a pro-Palestinian rally organised by the Swiss Socialist and Green parties.

And rallies across the country in Germany drew more than 5,000 people.

'Liberation' calls

In Rome some marchers wore black face masks and scarves similar to those of Palestinian militants, while others carried banners calling for a "liberated Palestine".

Protesters in New York
Hundreds walked across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of Palestinians
"It's important for me to show my support - these people (Palestinians) have neither land nor water," protester Andrea Parrella told AP.

And in the US, thousands marched demanding that Washington intervene in the Middle East crisis, with protesters walking across the Brooklyn Bridge carrying placards equating Mr Sharon with Hitler.

Bahrain and Jordan saw the most violent demonstrations In the Arab world, but Lebanon has also held seven consecutive days of rallies, the largest being in the mainly-Shia Muslim city of Baalbek, where an estimated 15,000 turned out for rallies.

In the Beirut suburb of Aukar violence erupted with police using tear gas to disperse crowds.

In Indonesia, one of the world's most populous Muslim nation, four days of protests culminated on Friday with more than 1,000 protesters clashing with police in the capital Jakarta, some pelting the heavily fortified US embassy with rotten vegetables.

See also:

07 Apr 02 | Middle East
Pope calls for Mid-East peace
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Bush and Blair's united stance
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US and UK call for Iraq 'change'
06 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israel given new pullout warning
06 Apr 02 | UK Politics
Blair flies in with ceasefire agenda
05 Apr 02 | Middle East
UN to probe Mid-East 'rights abuses'
05 Apr 02 | Business
Iran wields oil embargo threat
05 Apr 02 | Media reports
Press probes Bush initiative
04 Apr 02 | Middle East
Extracts from Bush's speech
05 Apr 02 | Middle East
Nobel's regrets on Peres award
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