101 Jordanians arrested protesting Gaza war outside Israeli embassy

101 Jordanians arrested protesting Gaza war outside Israeli embassy
101 Jordanians were arrested on Sunday night as hundreds of demonstrators attempted to 'besiege' the Israeli embassy in Amman to protest Israel's war on Gaza.
3 min read
25 March, 2024
Jordanians have been protesting Israel's brutal war on Gaza for months and are calling for the 1994 Wadi Araba Treaty to be cancelled [Getty]

Hundreds of Jordanian protestors were teargassed and scores arrested on Sunday as demonstrators attempted to "besiege" the Israeli embassy in Amman in solidarity with Gaza.

Witnesses said Jordanian security services prevented protestors from getting past a heavy police cordon surrounding the Israeli embassy in the capital's Al-Rabia district, and several protestors were beaten.

The heavy-handed response comes amid widespread public outrage in Jordan over Israel's brutal war in Gaza and deliberate starving of the population.

Mass protests have occurred regularly outside the embassy since 7 October with demonstrators rejecting all forms of normalisation with Israel and demanding Jordan cancel the 1994 Wadi Araba treaty alongside other agreements with Israel.

Organisers of Sunday's protest called on Jordanians to "besiege the embassy of the Zionist [Israeli] embassy" and to voice their rejection of "crimes of the occupation forces in the Gaza Strip, the genocide […], the besiegement of Al-Shifa hospital and to condemn the crimes of rape against women".

Demonstrators also called for the land bridge for goods from the Gulf states to Israel via Jordan be cut off, affirmed their support for the Palestinian armed resistance, and slammed the "spinelessness of the Arab regimes" and their "surrender […] to the will of the Israeli occupation".

Jordan's 'Coalition of Nationalist and Leftist Parties' released a statement on Monday condemning the arrests and violence against protestors and demanding the immediate release of these detainees.

The statement added that the arrests of "totally contradicted Jordan's official rhetoric towards the assault on Gaza since it began over six months ago".

Jordanian human rights lawyer Loay Jamal Obeidat told The New Arab that 101 protestors were arrested yesterday, but 95 had since been released.

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He said he believed the detentions were  more complicated than just a signal by the Jordanian authorities wish to protect the Israeli embassy and maintain its relations with Israel, the US, and others.

"The authorities do not want what is happening in Gaza to be instrumentalised to build patriotic mass movement in Jordan".

He explained that the authorities feared "historic turning points such as the war in Gaza" as they had worked for "over 100 years to divide people and split their ranks, and to destroy the social infrastructure in terms of unions, [political] parties, associations and clubs".

He added that "the idea of mass action, of organised action, is rejected by the authorities, like it is by every government in the Third World".

However, he believes the protests, in Jordan and globally, are having an impact with governments having to distance themselves from Israel.

The National Forum to Support the Resistance and Protect the Homeland said on Monday that what had occurred outside the embassy violated Jordanians' constitutional and legal right to assembly.

They called for the authorities to immediately release all those detained and stop persecuting activists for their support for Gaza.

The body also called on the Jordanian people to continue protests outside the Israeli embassy after Tarawih prayers, and to march across the country in the face of Israel's ongoing assault on Gaza and Jerusalem.

This article is based on an article which appeared in our Arabic edition on 25 March 2024. To read the original article click here.