CAIRO: As Israeli air-strikes continue for the eighth day in Lebanon, Egyptian protestors continue taking to the streets to express their solidarity with Lebanon.
About 500 protestors gathered at the stairs of the press syndicate, holding the Hezbollah logo while expressing support for the group, holding pictures of its leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and the former pan-Arabist President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
We called for a protest to support Lebanon and Palestine, all political streams answered our call, from those who attended today: the Kefaya Enough movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, Nasserists and leftists, says Mohammed Abdel Qodoos, the head of the freedoms committee in the press syndicate.
Uniformed and plain-clothed anti-riot police surrounded the building. As time passed and the numbers of the protestors increased, more police surrounded the building. This is the biggest pro-Lebanon protest inside Cairo that wasn t held in Al-Azhar mosque, says Abdel Qodoos.
The crowd also tackled reform issues in Egypt, demanding the release of all political prisoners from all political streams. The crowd held banners with names and pictures of some of the prisoners.
Release our brothers, read a banner signed by Youth for Change and Kefaya. In order to liberate Jerusalem, we have to liberate Egypt first.
The peoples demand is the expulsion of the [Israeli] ambassador, chanted the crowd. Who s striking Lebanon now, tomorrow will strike Aswan too, they continued.
The crowd waved the Egyptian and Palestinian flags while shouting anti-Israel and anti-American chants. Meanwhile as the Israeli flag was burning, they were clapping and cheering in jubilation, chanting, God is great.
The Muslim Brotherhood blames Israel for the current violence.
“Their attacks are all on the infrastructure, the civilians are the victims, said Mohammed Beltagi, a parliament member and deputy of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary block. We also blame the Arab and Islamic governments shameful stance, and international organizations for not doing anything in the situation.
The problem won t be solved except by jihad, but actually we don t ask the government to go to war, we know the government isn t capable of going to war now. But the government should at least let the people express themselves, adds Beltagi.
The Labor Party has organized protests after Friday prayers at the Azhar for the past three weeks in support of the Palestinians but the events have not drawn more than a few hundred people at a time.