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Dozens arrested as protesters mark anniversary of Gaza conflict


Sunday, December 27, 2009 09:29:53 PM, IANS

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Tel Aviv/Gaza (DPA): At least 20 demonstrators were arrested Sunday as they attempted to enter the Gaza Strip from Israel to mark the first anniversary of the three-week conflict.

The 22-day war claimed around 1,400 Palestinian lives within the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, according to human rights organisations, and 13 Israelis.


According to Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld, more than 20 protesters were arrested at the border with Gaza, after a small riot broke out.


Israeli peace activist Haggai Matar said a total of 25 protesters had been arrested after they demanded entry to the blockaded Gaza Strip, and were refused.


The Gaza Strip has been subject to a three-year blockade by Israel, following the armed seizure of power by the militant Hamas.


According to Matar, the protesters carried ladders, and demanded the Israeli army commander allow them entry.


ďHe responded that he could not promise that fire would not be opened on the protesters. The protesters refused to evacuate the area and demanded to be allowed to break the siege or be arrested,Ē Matar said in a statement.


Meanwhile, a convoy of humanitarian aid led by the left-wing British parliamentarian George Galloway is stuck at the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba, after Egypt apparently refused to allow the group entry.


The convoy comprises 210 trucks with supplies, accompanied by 450 activists from 17 countries, and was due to arrive at the Gaza border town of Rafah Sunday.













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