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Monday, February 25, 2008

The Incredible Stretching Palestinian Arabs

From Arab News:
Thousands of Palestinians formed a human chain yesterday morning, stretching 41 kilometers along the border with Israel from north to south, in protest against a crushing Israeli blockade.

The human chain extended from the Salah Al-Deen Gate on the border between Gaza and Egypt in the south until the “Eretz” crossing point in the north of the Strip.

Organizers had forecast 40,000 to 50,000 participants but only about 4,500 people turned out in inclement weather.

So first the Arab News says that the "human chain" stretched for 41 kilometers, and then it says that 4500 people showed up.

Which means that each person must have taken up over 9 meters of linear space (about 30 feet.)

Now, that's flexible!

Also, for context:
Hamas got 4000 protesters last Friday in an anti-Mohammed cartoon rally.
Tens of thousands protested the Annapolis talks late last year.
Thousands typically come out for funerals.
Fatah's rally last November attracted 250,000 people.
Hamas' rally in December got 200,000 participants.

And the 4500 included thousands of children bussed in by their schools.

Which means that Gazans pretty much choose to protest only when the rallies are close to home.