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Protesters condemn Israeli raids, U.S. support

Thousands of Arabs protested in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain on Friday.  

MANAMA, Bahrain (CNN) -- Police in Bahrain clashed Friday with thousands of demonstrators who had gathered outside the U.S. Embassy to protest U.S. and Israeli actions in the Mideast.

The pro-Palestinian protests was one of scores in cities around the globe, from Amman, Jordan, to Tunis, Tunisia, to New York City.

The Bahrain demonstrators assembled around 3 p.m. (7 a.m. EST), and listened to speakers condemn both countries for not acting more decisively to halt the violence in the region, Interior Minister Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said.

"Unfortunately, some of those went out of line and not as was planned as they get very close to the embassy," he said. A melee ensued, with demonstrators throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the embassy.

Demonstration organizers and police "tried to keep things under control and then they dealt with them with tear gas," he said.

Gallery: International protests of Israeli incursions 

There were no immediate reports of injuries in Bahrain, which is headquarters to the U.S. Navy's Fifth fleet.

Demonstrations throughout Middle East

Palestinian supporters took to the streets of several other Middle East nations, deriding Israel and, in many cases, the United States.

There were reports of confrontations between police and anti-Israeli demonstrators in Tunisia and Jordan on Friday, and sizable but peaceful protests in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

Nearly 4,000 demonstrators gathered around 1:15 p.m. (5:15 a.m. EST) after Friday prayers at the Beyazit mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, carrying signs calling Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a "killer" and saying "our hearts are with Palestine."

Police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and water cannons, detaining a number of protesters. Several journalists were slightly injured in the confrontation.

Other small demonstrations took place in other Turkish towns and cities, including the capital Ankara.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher told CNN that anti-Israeli sentiment is growing stronger daily.

"We are very concerned," Muasher said "We feel that the Arab world is being radicalized by the recent Israeli actions."

Hundreds denounce Israel in Times Square

Times Square
A group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gather in Times Square on Friday.  

Pro-Palestinian protesters also hit the streets of New York, condemning Israel and urging the U.S. government to do more to stop Israeli incursions into Palestinian-controlled territories.

Police estimated a crowd of 1,800 to 2,000 people gathered in Times Square on Friday evening, chanting "Down with Israel" and "Five, six, seven, eight, Israel is a racist state."

The rally, organized by the International Action Center, a group that stages campaigns against "U.S. militarism," gained steam around 5:30 p.m. when a smaller group from the Palestine American Congress, joined the crowd on Broadway between 40th and 42nd streets.

The protesters represented a variety of races and ages and included Palestinian and Muslim activists and labor groups.

Many in the crowd waved the black, white, green and red Palestinian flag, and some posters depicted the Star of David equalling a Nazi swastika.

-- CNN Correspondent Brian Palmer contributed to this report.




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