Anti-Israel protests staged anew; police use force

Jordanians take to the streets in protest to Israeli violations against Palestinians in Gaza Strip, occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank, in demonstrations organized at downtown Amman
Jordanians take to the streets in protest to Israeli violations against Palestinians in Gaza Strip, occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank, in demonstrations organized at downtown Amman on May 16, 2021. (Photo: Ameer Khalifa/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Thousands of Jordanians took part in two rallies in Amman on Sunday, in support for Palestine against ongoing Israeli aggression in Jerusalem and Gaza. اضافة اعلان

Protesters responded to calls from the Islamic Action Front (IAF) in downtown Amman and leftist parties in Rabieh area, near the Israeli embassy.

The first protest in downtown kicked off after Asr (afternoon) prayers with chants of “God is great”, as hundreds marched down the main road calling on the Jordanian government to take “a firm action against the Israeli attacks.”

Demonstrators chanted for Hamas and recognized “armed resistance as the only way to freedom”.

During the marches, protesters demanded that the government open the borders with the occupied territories, shut down the Israeli embassy in Amman, and to put the negotiated treaty with Israel to an end.

“I’m here to protest and let the world realize what’s happening in Palestine; we want the Israeli aggression to stop,” said Maya Alawneh, a 21-years-old pharmaceutical science student whose father was arrested by Israeli occupation forces in Nablus on May 13.

“I left Nablus with my mother to study in Jordan, and my 14-year-old sister contacted us to inform us that the Israeli army arrested my father, she’s home alone now! We need Jordan to open the borders or at least ease our traveling there” she added.

Spokesman of the Islamist movement Moath Khawaldeh also updated the protesters with live statements and “accomplishments of Hamas against the Israeli forces.”

Khawaldeh urged Jordan to “establish political relations with Hamas and not the Israeli enemy. This will solidify the Jordanian position and the Hashemite Custodianship over Jerusalem holy sites.”

“What Hamas is doing is something for us to be extremely proud of; this is the first time in 73 years that Israel does not celebrate its ‘independence day’, a sign that victory awaits us,” said Ahmad Azzam, a 34-year-old protester.

As entire families marched together at the protest, huge emphasis on the importance of teaching children the importance of Palestine and Jerusalem to their Arab identity was stressed by the parents.

The rally ended after announcements that the group will be holding a “central event” on Friday in the Jordan Valley, close to the King Hussein border crossing into Palestine.

Despite the large number of law enforcement present, no clashes or arrests were reported.

A few kilometers away, in Rabieh, hundreds rallied near the Israeli embassy demanding the government sever diplomatic ties with Israel. They are specifically asking for the government to expel the Israeli ambassador and nullify the Wadi Araba and gas deals.

Another attendee, Amir Sawair, 23, believes that showing support to the Palestinian community is “fundamental”, even if it is from a distance.

He said that “the least we could do is show up. We are trying to give ourselves a voice and I think these protests are actually giving us the chance to speak up, rejecting the presence of the Israeli embassy and the Wadi Araba treaty.”

The demonstration saw clashes between protesters and law enforcement.

Attendees were asked to leave the premises by the police and hundreds were pushed to the streets and some were struck with batons.

A handful of arrests were made and several injuries were reported. Two young men were seen laying on the ground as a medical teams attended to them.

“The gendarmes asked me to throw away the Palestinian flag and I refused. So, they just started beating me up,” one injured man told Jordan News. “Many others were beaten as well. There was even a girl who got her shoulder broken.”

Rahaf Dghaim, 17, attended the protest with her family. She protested that the violent behavior of the police is uncalled for, citing that “the protest is a peaceful one. The protestors are only carrying flags and koufiyat (scarves), not weapons.”

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