Jordanians angered by government's downing of Iranian missiles heading towards Israel

Jordanians angered by government's downing of Iranian missiles heading towards Israel
Jordanians reacted with outrage after their government assisted in downing Iranian drones and missiles heading for Israel on Sunday.
3 min read
15 April, 2024
Jordan's military and security services are closely aligned with the West. Its population, however, is against the West's support for Israel. [Getty]

Jordanians expressed outrage over the weekend over their country's participation in stopping Iran's missile and drone attack on Israel on Sunday morning, as protests against Israel's war on Gaza continued in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

Jordan's airforce and the US military shot down Iranian drones and missiles heading towards Israel in the early hours of Sunday morning, preventing them from reaching Israeli soil. Remnants of Iranian cruise missiles fell across the country, with one largely intact fragment landing in a residential area of Amman.

Iran's attack on Sunday was in retaliation for Israel's 1 April strike on its consulate in Damascus, which killed several high-ranking military officials. Most of the missiles were struck down before impact, with a few striking a military base in southern Israel.

After launching the missiles, Iranian officials said that they considered the matter "concluded" and urged Israel not to escalate further.

Israel has not yet announced any plans to respond to Iran's strike, but Israel's war cabinet had once again convened on Monday morning.

Jordan's role in downing Iranian projectiles stirred anger among Jordanians, the vast majority of whom are against Israel's war on Gaza, which has killed over 33,000 Palestinians since 7 October.

Many Jordanians took to social media to express their outrage.

"King Abdullah II protected Israel from Iranian drones, all is well. But he cannot protect the West Bank," Walid al-Jama'iye, a Twitter user, said on Monday.

Israeli social media users praised Jordan's King Abdullah for his country's downing of Iranian drones on Sunday, saying he was a better ally for Israel than the US.

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After Jordan's assistance in shooting down Iranian missiles, Israeli media reported that the Israeli government was expected to extend a water-assistance deal with Jordan for another year, a previous request by Jordan.

"The Jordanian government said many times that it would do its best to confront all missiles that passed through its airspace. The question is, will Jordan confront Israeli military planes or missiles if they strike Iran?" Ahmad Awad, the founder and director of the Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies, told The New Arab.

Awad said there was widespread anger over the use of Jordanian airspace to prevent Iran's missiles from reaching Israel but that people were hesitant to criticise the government's actions in public.

"It's clear that the position of Western countries has an unfair and blind bias in defending Israel's apartheid regime. They are not looking at the interests of the people here in Jordan and Palestine," Awad added.

Jordan's government has called for an end to Israel's war on Gaza, expelled its ambassador from Amman and endorsed South Africa's case accusing Israel of genocide. Still, Jordanians have called for more decisive action from the government.

Thousands of Jordanians have been protesting in front of the Israeli embassy in Amman since 26 March, calling on Jordan to break its 1994 peace treaty with the country.

Jordanian authorities have responded to the protests with arrests, detaining more than 200 people over the last three weeks. Rights organisations have called on the government to allow peaceful protests to continue unmolested.