MANAMA, Bahrain – Police clashed Wednesday with several hundred protesters chanting "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!" and trying to march to the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, witnesses said.
Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd of about 500 high school students, the witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Many of the protesters wore black in mourning for Palestinians killed in Israel's ongoing military operation in the West Bank.
A protest outside the embassy on Friday deteriorated into violence, with protesters hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails into the embassy grounds and setting a satellite dish and a sentry box on fire. A protester who was hit in the head by a rubber bullet died two days later.
Wednesday's clashes took place several hundred yards from the U.S. Embassy in Manama. Scores of riot police were deployed outside the compound.
"U.S. and Israel are the terrorists," read one banner carried by the protesters.
Demonstrators have demanded that U.S. forces leave Bahrain, a tiny island state in the Persian Gulf that is the base of the U.S. Fifth Fleet.
Bahrainis also have been enraged by U.S. Ambassador Ronald Neumann, who was at an April 3 mock U.N. forum at which a Bahraini student who was playing the role of a Palestinian delegate called for a minute of silence for Palestinian victims of Israeli-Palestinian violence.
Soon after, Neumann, a keynote speaker at the forum, urged the gathering to remain standing out of respect for Israeli victims as well. Neumann said in a statement later that "mourning for innocent lives being lost on both sides is the least we owe to our common humanity." Arabs in Bahrain and elsewhere, though, condemned Neumann's remarks as one-sided.
Street demonstrations have swept the Arab world since Israel began its military campaign in Palestinian areas in search of militants. Washington is seen as backing Israel's crackdown on the Palestinians.
Some of the protests also were directed against Arab governments, seen as doing too little to support the Palestinians in their 18-month-old uprising against Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza.
In Egypt's Mediterranean city of Alexandria, a cultural center run by the U.S. Embassy was closed Wednesday following clashes there Tuesday that left one student dead and about 100 injured. The death took to four the number of known fatalities linked to the Arab protests. The others occurred in Bahrain, Jordan and Yemen.
"The U.S. Embassy urges all American citizens in Egypt and particularly those in the Alexandria area to exercise extreme caution," said a statement posted on the embassy's website. It cited the death and injuries among protesters in Alexandria.
The students in Alexandria were protesting U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's one-day stop Tuesday in the Egyptian capital, where he met with President Hosni Mubarak in an effort to broker a truce between the Israelis and Palestinians.
The anti-Israeli protests in Egypt have grown in vigor and numbers in recent days, prompting the Israeli Embassy in Cairo to send home families of its diplomats.
Officials at Cairo's airport said Tuesday that 45 family members had left for home. A spokesman for the embassy confirmed their departure, but refused to disclose any details.
Also Tuesday, leaders of radical Islamic groups across the Middle East and elsewhere published a declaration accusing Arab governments of betraying the Palestinians and saying jihad, or holy war, "has become a religious duty of every Muslim."
The declaration was signed by the leaders of Hezbollah, a Lebanese guerrilla group backed by Syria and Iran, the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas and Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Other signatories were leaders of Islamic groups in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Syria, Morocco, Iran, Malaysia, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Libya, Iraq, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa and Mauritania.