BEIRUT (AFP) — Hundreds of Hezbollah supporters called for jihad, or holy war, to crush Israel during a demonstration Monday in the Lebanese capital against the Jewish state's deadly offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Protesters gathered outside the main stronghold of the militant group in the southern suburbs of Beirut chanted "Death to America! Death to Israel!".
A picture of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with blood trickling through her teeth was put on display along with pictures of children killed in the Israeli operation.
One banner called Israel's weekend offensive in Gaza that left 116 dead an "American-Israeli holocaust".
"Our people proved that the road to victory is the road of jihad and resistance," Hezbollah MP Mohamed Raad told the crowd. "To those who profess a culture of life, we say this is the road to defeat."
He said Hezbollah stood by "Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all the Palestinian resistance factions" in their bid to crush Israel.
Earlier, several hundred school children from 20 schools took part in a Hezbollah-organized demonstration outside UN headquarters in Beirut.
The children presented a letter to a UN representative calling on the world body to take action against Israel.
The pupils held aloft pictures of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and of some of the children killed in Gaza during the Israeli air and ground operations.
"Where are children's rights?" asked one banner carried by the demonstrators, some of whom wore Palestinian-style chequered headscarves.
"USA and Israel, the same face of terror," read another.
"I came here to encourage the kids in Gaza," said eight-year-old Rawan.
Demonstrations also took place in Palestinian refugee camps throughout southern Lebanon Monday.
Hundreds of Palestinian students took part in a Hamas-organized protest in the Rashidiyeh, Bourj Al-Shemali and Al-Bass, near the southern city of Tyre.
Some of the demonstrators in the Al-Bass camp burned pictures of US President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert while others burned US and Israeli flags.
"Ban Ki-moon, do you feel with Gaza's children?" one banner read, referring to the UN chief.
"Palestine's children want protection and safety" read another.
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