Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Gaza protests: Eyewitness stories

As the deadly air strikes in Gaza continue, thousands of campaigners across the world have been gathering to voice their disapproval of Israel's recent action.

Here, two people from Yemen and from London talk to the BBC News website about the protests in their respective countries.


There is anger across the Arab world at Arab governments for failing to help the Palestinian people, and they have been denounced as traitors by many who see them as simply standing by while these atrocities continue.

The people and government of Yemen have condemned the attacks in Gaza and it has sparked angry protests in many of Yemen's governorates.

Women attending the protests declared "Jihad is the only solution"
We have seen two large scale protests in the capital, Sana'a; one organised by the ruling General People's Congress party and another by the Yemen-based Hamas Women's Palestinian movement, Kana'an.

The first demonstration which took place on Siteen Street attracted hundreds of thousands of demonstrators some estimating as many as one million.

The second involved thousands of Yemeni and Palestinian women and schoolgirls who gathered in a playground in Al-Tahreer Square in central Sana'a.

I joined the Yemeni women in the streets of Sana'a. The protest, calm but feelings in the crowd remained strong.

People from across Sana'a including teachers, students, members of the ruling party and housewives were present.

One of our reporters at the Yemen Observer said the protesters felt there was an "Arab conspiracy" against the Palestinians, and women attending the Palestinian protests declared "Jihad is the only solution". Many held banners - one read "We are ready to die". One Palestinian women was brandishing a Jambiyya (Yemeni dagger) and a Koran.


London protests
Photo by Tanya Nagar
I work in the financial sector, but I'm also a keen photojournalist; I enjoy documentary and street photography, and I regularly attend protests in London

The protest [outside the Israeli Embassy in London, on Monday]was really loud and vocal. It was clear the protesters felt very passionately about their cause but all the while there was a peaceful atmosphere, although I noticed a few moments of tension when an Israel supporter confronted some protesters.

London protests
Photo by Tanya Nagar

There was a complete mix of people, from young children, to old Palestinian women, and despite the freezing temperatures, people didn't seem discouraged.

The Jewish men in my photo above are often at anti-Israel protests. They believe that Israel has no right over the disputed land and call themselves Palestinian Jews. They appeared very willing to talk to people and were giving lots of interviews.

Children at the protest were encouraged to chant, and the kid in my photo was just one of many shouting messages of support. The adults were telling him what to say.

London protests
Photo by Tanya Nagar
Loads of young men waved placards and flags, and shouted in both Arabic and English. You could see the anger in their faces and their feelings were definitely clear to everyone there.

The whole time I was there, there was a lot of pro-Palestine chanting, but equally as much anti-Israel shouts. There was a definitely a strong feeling of animosity towards Israel. I noticed a few placards comparing Jews to Nazis, and referring to the situation as a Holocaust.

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