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Saturday, 29 July 2006

Pro-Lebanese protesters

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Violent Confrontation in Perth Australia

Violent scuffles broke out between police and pro-Lebanon protesters who mobbed Australia's prime minister Saturday demanding more government action to bring peace in the Middle East, a news agency reported.

Prime Minister John Howard was leaving a state conference of his Liberal Party in the west coast Australian city of Perth,when the prime minister, who has been supportive of Israel, was set apon by about 200 protesters that had gathered outside the venue, many waving Lebanese and Palestinian flags. A number of the protesters clashed violently with police .

Mr Howard had used his conference speech to attack Hizbollah, which is fighting Israel in southern Lebanon.

"It's not some kind of inspirational liberation organisation, it's a terrorist organisation," he said.

Mr Howard had said there would be no lasting peace in the Middle East until both sides accepted the right for independent Israeli and Palestinian states.

"There must be an unconditional acceptance throughout the entire Arab world ... of Israel's right to exist in peace and stability, behind secure, internationally recognised boundaries," he told the conference.

"There has to be an equally unconditional acceptance, including on the part of the Israelis, of the need and and the justice in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

"Until those two conditions are met there will never be a lasting settlement, there will never be lasting peace in the Middle East."

As the prime minister departed, the protesters surged towards his car, demanding an end to the war which has killed hundreds of civilians.

Protesters punched and kicked police and threw projectiles at the car, AAP reported.
Howard's entourage sped from the scene as police wrestled protesters to the ground, it said.

Several protesters were arrested and taken away by police.

Protest leader Muhammad El Khatib said he has family in Lebanon and the Australian government was not doing enough to broker peace in the region.
"Hizbullah is protecting Lebanon, they are freedom fighters, not terrorists," he said

Mr Bagel


The Age: Howard flees angry mob
SMH: Two charged after attack on Howard's car

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