Man attempts to set himself alight at Gaza protest


A man attempted to set himself alight at a protest today in Dublin over the continued bombing of Gaza.

The man, who appeared visibly distraught, set his arms and shoulders alight before onlookers managed to extinguish the flames. He was not seriously injured.

The incident happened at around 1.45pm this afternoon at the Central Bank in Dublin where around 600 people had gathered to protest at Israeli attacks in Gaza.

The protest continued without incident to Leinster House and finished this evening in O’Connell Street.

Other demonstrations took place in Galway, Cork, Limerick, Derry and Sligo.

Kevin Squires of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign branded Israeli actions war crimes.

“This latest series of war crimes in Gaza is completely beyond the pale,” Mr  Squires said. “Action needs to be taken. Israel can no longer get away with  this.”

The protests were one of many taking place across the world to demand a halt to Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip. 

Protests were held in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey as the Israeli offensive entered its second week, and before Israel confirmed ground forces had entered Gaza.
Israeli Arabs held a protest march, Kuwaitis also took to the streets, a day after bigger Middle East rallies, and peaceful pro- and anti-Israel protests were held in New York. 

In Paris, police said more than 21,000 demonstrators, many wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, marched through the city centre chanting slogans such as "Israel murderer!" and waving banners demanding an end to the air attacks. 

Groups of protesters clashed with police. At least three cars were set alight and about 20 overturned by demonstrators as the march ended near some of the biggest department stores in the French capital. 

In London, police said more than 10,000 people staged a march and rally to urge an end to the Israeli offensive against Hamas militants that has killed at least 446 Palestinians. 

In many cities people waved shoes, recalling the action of an Iraqi journalist who hurled footwear at US President George W. Bush in Baghdad last month in a symbolic insult. 

British demonstrators threw dozens of shoes into the street as they passed the gated entrance to Downing Street  and shouted angrily at a line of 40 police officers on guard there. 

"Come to get your shoes Gordon," one woman shouted as other marchers directed chants of "Shame on you" at Mr Brown. 

A spokesman said Mr Brown had spoken again to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today and was pressing hard for an immediate ceasefire. 

About 3,500 people marched in Berlin and 4,000 in the western city of Duesseldorf, police said. 

Several thousand people demonstrated in Ankara in a second day of protests in Turkey. In smaller protests in Istanbul, demonstrators carried baby dolls smeared with fake blood. 

In New York, several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied near Times Square in a peaceful protest, calling for an immediate end to the Israeli offensive. 

A few dozen pro-Israel counter-protesters gathered just across the street, but there were no clashes between the opposing groups and police reported no arrests. 

More than 1,000 demonstrators marched through Kuwait City, with banners reading "Gaza will not die" and "We want a free Gaza". Other protests of at least 1,000 people took place in Madrid, Amsterdam, Milan and Turin. 

Additional reporting: Reuters