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Global protests planned in support of Gaza

Thousands around the world are expected to show solidarity with Gaza tonight and through the weekend.
Gaza funeral rightsEnlarge
Family members shout in grief as they carry the body of two-year-old Palestinian Walid Abadleh, killed in the latest Israeli airstrikes, during his funeral in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis on November 15, 2012. Human rights advocates have called for world-wide protests against Israeli action in Gaza. (SAID KHATIB /AFP/Getty Images)

More than 50 actions to rally solidarity with Gaza are planned across the world today and the rest of the weekend and thousands are expected to attend, from New York and Paris to Sydney and Haifa. 

International outrage over yesterday's Israeli escalation has mobilized activists around the globe who claim that Israel has committed war crimes by breaking a tentative cease fire with Hamas and reopening hostilities.

Israel fired on the Gaza Strip for 20 hours straight yesterday and into this morning from both land and sea, killing at least 13 Palestinians, including the 11-month-old son of a BBC correspondent and a woman pregnant with twins. Rockets fired from Gaza have killed three Israelis. 

Emergency actions to protest Israel are being planned at a number of Israeli consulates and embassies in major cities, as well as at colleges and universities, including in Israeli cities Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. 

Lamis Deek, a Palestinian attorney and human rights advocate, is one of the organizers of the planned action this evening in New York City, which will take place at the Israeli Consulate there. 

More from GlobalPost: Israel, Gaza conflict escalates (LIVE BLOG)

Equal parts solidarity action to show support for Gazans and political protest against US-funded Israeli action, there are already over a thousand expected to attend. And like sister protests around the world, Deek says New York's is a Palestinian-led call to rally and organize against further incursions of Gaza. 

"The policies that are in place in Gaza and the West Bank cannot exist and would not continue if it weren't for direct American support," said Deek. Israeli aggression has continued against the Palestinian people "through a combination of years of financial, political and military support and guaranteed impunity afforded to the Israeli government via the UN and the United States' position on the Security Council."

Deek, who has family all over Palestine and came to the US as a child, said that she felt "outraged" and "helpless" watching the situation in Gaza unfold yesterday.

Protesters in Washington DC will march from the State Department to the White House, while a counter demonstration has been planned at the White House in support of Israel/US cooperation, according to Facebook. 

What the New York Times deemed a "ferocious" attack began with the assassination of Hamas military commander Ahmed al-Jabari and continued with aerial attacks that hit 20 targets in the Gaza Strip.

Riyad Mansour, Palestine's envoy to the UN, said in an address yesterday, "There is no justification whatsoever for assassinating any Palestinian by Israel, the occupying power," reported Democracy Now.

More from GlobalPost: Hamas: The business of resistance 

Israeli military command said over 700 rockets have been fired from Gaza this year, and more than 200 since Saturday, and that the actions taken against Hamas in Gaza were a matter of self-defense. The IDF has been liveblogging and tweeting since yesterday morning. 

Meanwhile, President Obama signaled his total support for Israel's right to defend itself from rockets yesterday, and urged Israeli President Bibi Netanyahu to "make every effort to avoid civilian casualties," according to the New York Times. 

Israel's largest operation since Operation Cast Lead, which was backed by the US and killed 1300 Palestinians in 2008, this week's attacks have been named Pillar of Defense and were announced by the IDF via Twitter yesterday using the hashtag #PillarofDefense. 

Regarding this tweeting, Mansour admonished Israel for "boasting publicly," according to the Assocated Press. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/rights/global-protests-planned-gaza-solidarity