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Protest near US embassy shut down by authorities

IAF-led demonstration protests US Mideast policies as Blinken visits Kingdom

Jordanian police deploy outside the US embassy to prevent a sit-in in Jordan's capital Amman on May 26, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
Jordanian police deploy outside the US embassy to prevent a sit-in in Jordan's capital Amman on May 26, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
AMMAN — Dozens gathered around the US embassy in Amman’s Abdoun area on Wednesday evening to protest US support of Israel and tolerance of ongoing occupation and dispossession of the Palestinian people, coinciding with a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the Kingdom.اضافة اعلان

The rally, organized by the Islamic Action Front (IAF) and youth groups in Jordan, to express their rejection of Blinken’s visit, in light of the US’ position on the occupation.

Protesters were prevented from reaching the designated area of the rally as police and gendarmerie surrounded the vicinity, and sometime after moving to a nearby location, the protest was shutdown. 

As protesters converged in the alternate site, statement was given by IAF Secretary General Murad Adayleh, in which he condemned the United States’ support of the Israeli occupation.

“The Jordanian people stand against the occupation of our Palestinian land and the violation of our rights,” Adayleh said. “We reject the stance and policies of the US and we are protesting the $750 million that are funding Israeli weaponry.” 

He was likely referencing the recent US sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel.

On behalf of the IAF, Adayleh demanded the US changes its foreign policy regarding the region.

The secretary general made a reference to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group running Gaza, describing it as a “liberation movement.” He rebuked the argument that the organization is a terrorist one, as is recognized by the US, citing that “not once did they attack an American.”

Citing the forceful displacement of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and those whose houses were destroyed in Gaza, Adayleh requested the US government implements international law to achieve justice.

“Their policies are biased to Israel. We ask them to reconsider their choices and stop the injustice against Palestinians,” Adayleh said. 

He then condemned the prevention of protesters to reach their set destination, arguing that if the roles were reversed, the US “would not stop its citizens from protesting at the Jordanian embassy.”

“People have a right to resist and protest,” Adayleh said, adding: “Like the US retracted from Afghanistan and Iraq, the same will happen with Palestine.”

The crowds in the area were asked to disperse and leave right after the speech.

The demonstration follows a series of protest near the Israeli embassy in Amman’s Rabieh and at Al-Karama near the border over the past few weeks, in solidarity with Palestinians as a battle raged on across the border between Israel and Gaza, during which 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes.

The latest military escalation started after violent clashes in occupied Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, Islam’s third holiest site, which is also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount.

Israeli forces had moved in on Palestinian worshippers at the site, toward the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 

They had also sought to quell protests against the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, to make way for Jewish settlers.

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