Pro-Palestinian rally marks anniversary of Israeli raids

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About 200 pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered in Paris Sunday to commemorate the second anniversary of an Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that killed 1,400 people.

The crowd waved Palestinian flags and shouted "Gaza, we won't forget you" and "We are all Palestinians", at the protest on Paris's Trocadero square.

They lit candles for the dead and heard an address by Jamila al-Habash, a woman who lost both her legs in an Israeli bombing.

The organisers said they would raise money to send a French boat to join a flotilla which Turkish campaigners plan to send to Gaza in May 2011 -- the anniversary of a similar flotilla which drew a deadly Israeli raid this year.

Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, its assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, on December 27, 2008, in response to hundreds of rockets fired into the Jewish state.

The raids killed 1,400 Palestinians, according to Palestinian medical sources, and 13 on the Israeli side, according to authorities there.

Fresh skirmishes broke out along the tense Gaza Strip border on Sunday, killing two Islamic Jihad fighters.

© 2010 AFP

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