Hundreds of Indonesians Protest US Support for Israel

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Several hundred Indonesians on Friday protested what they called American support for Israel outside the U.S. Embassy and the U.N. mission in Jakarta.

Carrying giant Palestinian and Indonesian flags and signs that read "Indonesian worker solidarity for free Palestine," the demonstrators marched from several mosques to a major street outside the embassy. The rally was organized by the Indonesian Muslim Workers Movement and several other groups.

Authorities with loudspeakers warned the protesters to maintain social distancing. More than 2,300 police, many wearing hazmat suits, were deployed to secure the embassy, the nearby presidential palace and the United Nations mission.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel and has long been a strong supporter of Palestinians. President Joko Widodo has condemned the recent Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks from the territory. A cease-fire took effect last week.