Scores of young men crowded into the library of Kabul’s Milad ul-Nabi mosque to sign up to fight Israel.
“More than a thousand brave Afghans registered their names here to fight Israeli troops in Gaza,” said Habibullah Assam, the imam of the mosque and organiser of the campaign.
“Several hundred Afghans, including doctors and teachers, have also volunteered to give blood to help the miserable people of Palestine,” he said.
“The acts of Israel against the innocent Muslims of Gaza are barbaric and inhumane and widely helped by the Americans,” Assam said, adding that nearly 10,000 people across Afghanistan had so far volunteered to fight in Gaza.
One Afghan at the mosque said he fought in Chechnya for Chechen independence in the 1990s.
“I have the military training and I will do whatever possible to go to Gaza to at least fire one bullet towards Israel,” Mohammad Ayaas said. “I will be the luckiest person to die beside my Muslim brothers fighting for an honourable cause.”
The 13-day Israeli operation against Hamas in Gaza led to protests in Afghanistan last week.
“Infidels are killing Muslims everyday and the United States is saying Israel’s offensive is just,” said angry Mohammad Akram, a shopkeeper. “If we can’t reach Gaza, we should seek revenge on Israel’s allies in our own country like the Taliban do.”