DAMASCUS, Syria, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Supporters of Syrian rebels equated the government of President Bashar Assad to Israel in protests Friday that were shared on the Internet.
Protesters chanted slogans of support for Palestinians in Gaza, The (Lebanon) Daily Star reported. Conflict between Gaza and Israel escalated this week with Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and the killing of three Israelis hit by a missile in a town near the border.
Assad's government condemned Israel this week in a statement: "Syria will always remain faithful to its national and historical duty to the Palestinian people."
But the protesters say Assad both effectively condones Israeli attacks and does the same thing to his own people.
A banner visible in a YouTube video of a march in Daraa carried a slogan to that effect: "In Gaza, 70 raids = 14 martyrs. In Syria, one raid = 70 martyrs."
A cartoon on Facebook shows Assad pointing a cobweb-covered rifle at the Golan Heights, an area occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967.