Published January 13, 2015
Sudanese of all political colors condemned Israel and the United States on Monday, holding one of the biggest demonstrations ever in the capital and calling on Usama bin Laden to avenge Israel's offensive in the Palestinian territories.
"Strike back, bin Laden!" the crowd chanted at a protest that drew hundreds of thousands of people to Khartoum's Martyr's Square for one of several pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Mideast countries including Jordan, Syria and Egypt.
In Baghdad, President Saddam Hussein said Iraq was cutting off oil exports for 30 days or until Israel withdraws from Palestinian territories, an announcement that provoked a jump in world oil prices.
In Jordan, at least 4,000 Palestinians gathered for the funeral of an 11-year-old boy who died Sunday of an injury suffered during an anti-Israeli protest Friday — marched through the dusty streets of Baqaa refugee camp and also called on bin Laden to attack Israel.
"Beloved bin Laden, strike Tel Aviv!" the crowd shouted.
In Sudan, protesters marched a mile in the 104-degree heat to the U.N. offices, where a delegation presented a memorandum warning that the United Nations must implement U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding an immediate Israeli military withdrawal or lose its credibility.
As with people across the Arab world, the demonstrators accused Washington of heavy bias toward Israel.
The crowd chanted "Down! Down with U.S.A!" and there were roars of approval when the head of the Sudanese Workers Trade Union Federation, Ibrahim Ghandour, urged the crowd to boycott American products. "So no more Coca-Cola," Ghandour said.
A large placard depicted Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a vampire with blood dripping from fang-like teeth. "Sharon is a bloodsucker," said the caption.
The march was led by the head of the lawyers' association, Fatahi Khalil. It was organized by the Popular Organization to Support the Palestinian Intefadeh, a committee that is backed by the ruling party, state-controlled trade unions and Islamic clerics. It was supported by all political parties.
Police intervened when some demonstrators tried to force their way into the U.N. offices. Officers used whips to keep the crowd back, permitting only a small delegation to enter the building to hand over the memorandum.
In a second demonstration in Jordan, about 250 journalists and two Cabinet ministers marched through a suburb of Amman, the capital, demanding the government break its 1994 peace treaty with Israel and sever relations. Jordan, Eqypt and Mauritania are the only Arab states that have with diplomatic relations with Israel.
"No to Arab silence and yes to using oil as a weapon," read one protest banner. "Close the Israeli Embassy in Amman," said another. At one point, a small group of protesters chanted anti-American slogans — to the surprise of Information Minister Mohammad Affash Adwan and Tourism Minister Taleb Rifai, who remained silent.
In Egypt, some 500 students from the American University in Cairo and U.S. citizens gathered outside the U.S. Embassy to hand over a message urging President Bush to pressure Israel into pulling back from the Palestinian territories. Bush has called on Israel to withdraw without delay, but Israel has not complied.