Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Egypt imprisons anti-Israel protesters

Press TV, Tehran
Tue, 13 Jan 2009

Egypt has detained more than 60 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in a protest against the Israeli offensive into Gaza.

Egyptian police took into custody 47 members of the opposition group on Monday in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour during a protest rally in support of those suffering in Gaza.

Police say the protesters were arrested for "obstructing traffic". Seventeen members of the group had been detained from their homes before the protest began on suspicion of organizing the demonstration.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the strongest opposition group in Egypt, says over 10,000 people had attended the rally condemning Israeli military action in the beleaguered sliver. Demonstrators also urged Cairo to open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, criticizing the government for its complicity in the blockade of the strip.

The calls to open the border comes as reports confirm that Israeli planes conducting Gaza attack operations have used Egyptian airspace on several occasions. Egypt is seen throughout the Middle East as Israel's main accomplice in the imposition of the 18-month Israeli blockade on Gaza and has been subject to severe criticism.

Cairo has seen several anti-Israeli rallies since Tel Aviv waged war on Gaza on December 27. So far, at least 940 Palestinians have been killed in the offensive and more than 4,400 have been wounded.

Egyptian protesters have called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Cairo.

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