Protests flare up in parts of India against Israeli attacks on Gaza
Protests broke out in New Delhi and Srinagar on Monday, with students and lawyers shouting anti-Israel slogans and burning effigies to condemn the killings of innocent Palestinian people, especially children, in aerial attacks on the Gaza Strip.
Dozens of students marched towards the Israeli embassy in New Delhi shouting slogans such as "Down With Israel" and "Stop Attack on Gaza", as they tried to push through police barricades.
Israel bombed dozens of suspected guerrilla sites in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip for the sixth straight day on Monday, and Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave dropped off as international efforts to broker a truce intensified.
President of the All India Student Union, Sandeep Singh, said that they condemned the 'ethnic cleansing' of the Palestinians by Israel.
"From decades Israel is capturing Palestinian land and there is an ethnic cleansing happening there.
The recent attack is a culmination of this process. These attacks were planned, keeping in mind the recent US elections and the upcoming Israel elections. We condemn these attacks and that is why we have gathered here. We also protest the silence of Indian government over the issue and demand an immediately stop to the attacks," he said.
Ten civilians and two field commanders from the Islamic Jihad faction were killed and at least 30 other Palestinians were hurt in the new air strikes, hospital officials said, bringing the death toll from six days of clashes in Gaza to about 85 to 90 people.
At least 22 of the fatalities have been children.
Another protester at the Israel embassy, Rakhi Sehgal, said the message they wanted to send through their protest was that Asian countries are not partner with Israeli government in its heinous act.
"Israel is one country which has defied all the UN conventions and international agreements. However, no one is calling them a 'terrorist' or questioning the country for the attacks, instead, the victims are questioned. This march marks solidarity with the victims and the Israeli embassy will have to listen to our voices that the Asian countries do not support this brutal plot," she said.
Meanwhile, protests also erupted in India's Kashmir, where lawyers gathered in main city, Srinagar and shouted 'down with Israel' and 'Soldiers of Gaza we are with you'.
One of the protesting lawyers in Srinagar, Manzoor Ahmad expressed solidarity with the people of Gaza and condemned the attacks.
"This protest was just in solidarity with all those innocent children, women and men who were killed in Palestine by the Israeli aggression and the Israeli armed forces. We just want to convey the message to the Palestinian people, who are suffering, we are with you, and our blood is for you," he said.
The Gaza flare-up, and Israel's signalling that it could soon escalate from the aerial bombings to a ground sweep of the cramped and impoverished enclave, have stoked the worries of world powers watching an already combustible region.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was due to arrive in Cairo to weigh in on ceasefire efforts led by Egypt, which borders both Israel and Gaza and whose Islamist-rooted government has been hosting leaders of Hamas.
As Hamas and other Islamist factions spurn permanent peace with the Jewish state, mediated deals for each to hold fire unilaterally have been the only formula for stemming bloodshed in the past. But each side now placed the onus on the other.