Millions of Muslims in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa stopped work in an unprecedented show of support for Palestinians in Israeli-occupied areas following last Sunday's shooting spree by an Israeli reservist on a Muslim temple in Jerusalem.
In many Middle East countries, airports were closed and telecommunications links cut. Government offices, private businesses, and banks were shut from Mali in West Africa to Pakistan. Air- and seaports in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Syria, and North Yemen were closed for 12 hours.
In Beirut, government offices, schools, and most private businesses in the mainly Muslim west sector of the city were closed. But businesses in east Beirut , controlled by right-wing Christian militias with a history of links with Israel, were open.
The largely Muslim African states of Mali, Senegal, and Niger ordered their citizens to halt work.
In Egypt, suspended from the Islamic Conference Organization and Arab League because of its peace treaty with Israel, banks and most businesses were open normally.
Meanwhile, sporadic rock throwing incidents and tire-burning protests were reported in the Israeli-occupied West Bank territory. Israeli police with blowtorches tried to break a strike called by Jerusalem's Supreme Muslim Council , forcing open the steel shutters on stores in Bethlehem and the West Bank towns of Nablus and Jenin.