Algerians observe minute of silence in solidarity with Gaza
Posted on Jul 31 2014 | IANS
Algiers, July 31 : Algerian officials Thursday declared their country's solidarity with the distressed population in the Gaza Strip by observing a minute of silence, a symbolic gesture of support for Palestinians as Israel continues to pummel the embattled coastal enclave.
Officials Wednesday announced that a minute of silence, as well as a short five-minute pause from work, would be observed midday Thursday in all public and private Algerian institutions in remembrance of the Gazan victims of Israeli airstrikes and in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
State-run television broadcast live pictures from government offices as Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and his cabinet stood in remembrance for five minutes, Xinhua reported.
Trade Unions and human right activists in different parts of the nation also staged sit-ins in public squares, as they chanted slogans denouncing Israel's aggressive campaign against Gaza, urging world powers to do more to prevent the killing of Palestinian children.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika pledged to send an aid package worth around USD 25 million to Gaza.
The enclave, ruled by the militant Islamist Hamas movement, has been under fire of Israel Defence Forces (IDF) since July 8. Israel's ensuing air and ground campaign has claimed more than 1,300 Palestinian lives, the majority of whom were civilians, including children, women, the elderly, and the disabled.
The Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, which was launched July 8 amid rocket attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants, has also claimed the lives of 56 Israelis, including 53 soldiers.