Mon, May 08, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Indonesians take to Jakarta streets for Palestinians

AP , JAKARTA

Supporters of the conservative Justice and Welfare Party march during a rally in Jakarta yesterday. Thousands of Indonesian Muslims rallied in support of the Hamas-led Palestinian government, demanding an end to the West's economic boycott of the beleaguered regime.

PHOTO: AP

Tens of thousands of Indonesian Muslims packed the streets of the capital yesterday in a mass showing of support for the Hamas-led Palestinian government and demanded an end to the West's economic boycott of the beleaguered regime.

Supporters of the conservative Justice and Welfare Party, including many families with children, waved Palestinian flags and banners and collected donations.

"One man, one dollar for Palestine," read one sign while another demonstrator held a picture of US President George W. Bush with the caption: "Don't worry, he's just a monkey."

Police estimated the crowd, which filled Jakarta's central roundabout, at tens of thousands. There were no reports of incidents.

The West has frozen hundreds of millions of dollars in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority since the Hamas government took office in late March, demanding that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past peace agreements.

Protesters originally planned to walk to the US Embassy, which was guarded by police.

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