Jordanian anti-riot police beat, arrest protesters near Israeli embassy

Jordanian anti-riot police beat, arrest protesters near Israeli embassy
Jordanian police have beat and detained dozens of protesters trying to march on the Israeli embassy in Amman.
2 min read
Jordanians have held dozens of protests in solidarity with Gaza [Getty]

Jordanian anti-riot police beat and arrested dozens of demonstrators trying to march towards the heavily guarded Israeli embassy in the capital Amman, witnesses and residents said on Wednesday.

More than two thousand protesters gathered late on Tuesday, the third day of demonstrations which have been marred with clashes, after baton wielding police pushed back hundreds of angry crowds seeking to storm the embassy compound in the affluent Rabae district of Amman.

The Israeli embassy, where protesters gather daily, has long been a flashpoint of anti-Israel protests whenever Israel launches attacks on Palestinians.

Many demonstrators chanted slogans in support of Hamas. Jordanian authorities are alarmed that Israel's bombing campaign in Gaza could broaden the popularity of the Hamas movement among Jordanians.

"Oh Hamas...All of Jordan's people are behind you," the protesters chanted.

Passions have run high among Jordanians, many of whom are of Palestinian origin, over the carnage in Gaza as Israel's relentless bombing campaign has led to tens of thousands of civilian deaths and flattened many parts of the densely populated enclave.

Jordan has seen some of the biggest outpourings of public anger in the region since the war began in October.

Live Story

Authorities in Jordan say peaceful protests are allowed but they would not tolerate any attempt by "mobs" who sought to exploit anger against Israel to create havoc or try to reach a border zone with the Israeli occupied West Bank or Israel.

Amnesty International last month called on Jordanian authorities to end what it said was a sweeping crackdown that has seen hundreds of people arrested for expressing their support for Palestinians in Gaza or criticising Jordanian government polices towards Israel.

Many demonstrators slam perceived inaction by authorities, saying their compatriots in Gaza were being left to face Israel's military ruthlessness alone.

Jordan's peace treaty with Israel is widely unpopular among many citizens who see normalisation as betraying the rights of their Palestinian compatriots.

(Reuters and The New Arab Staff)