Massive anti-Israel protests in Indonesia

Agence France Presse

Jakarta, April 17:

Tens of thousands of Muslim Indonesians today held a peaceful anti-Israel protest and rallied outside the US embassy in what police said appeared to be the largest demonstration the city has seen in years. Local radio reported that thousands of others held similar marches in several other cities and towns across the archipelago to protest what they called Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and alleged threats to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, a site considered holy for Muslims as well as Jews. The protest came one week after a leader of the radical Palestinian movement Hamas appealed to “the entire Muslim world” to protect al-Aqsa as up to 10,000 Palestinians formed a mass human shield at the al-Aqsa mosque against any possible threat to the site by Israeli ultra-nationalists. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim nation. The Jakarta protestors, many accompanied by children, were members and supporters of the Prosperous Justice Party, a fledgling but popular Muslim political party. Similar large-scale protests, organised by the same party, were reported in several Indonesian cities and towns.