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Jordanians form human chain to block trucks into Israel

Jordanians form human chain to block trucks into Israel in solidarity with Gaza
3 min read
16 February, 2024
Protesters in Jordan formed a human chain amid ongoing protests against the use of the country in a commercial land corridor from the UAE to Israel.
Jordanians have rallied against the government allowing the country to become an integral part of the Dubai-Haifa land corridor [Al-Araby Al-Jadeed]

Hundreds of Jordanian protesters formed a human chain to block trucks carrying goods to Israel amid its brutal war on Gaza.

The protest took place near the Na'ima Bridge on the highway to the city of Irbid, northern Jordan this week, with further direct action continuing into Friday.

This route is used by trucks heading to the Sheikh Hussein Bridge, which connects the country to Israel.

The activists were protesting Jordan’s part in the so-called “Dubai-Haifa” land corridor, which connects Dubai's Jebel Ali Port in the UAE to Israel’s Haifa port, via roads passing through both Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

This overland line has become vital to Israel since Yemen’s Houthi rebels began targeting Israeli-aligned commercial vessels in the Red Sea's Bab al-Mandeb Strait in a bid to pressure it to stop its devastating war on Gaza.

The protesters involved in forming the human chain raised banners denouncing not only the participation of Jordan in the Dubai-Haifa land corridor, but also that of the Gulf Arab countries.

On Friday, while Jordan’s security forces prevented protests in the North near the border with Israel, protest marches and sit-ins against the land bridge began after Friday prayers in Amman.

The protests were organised by an umbrella group of opposition Jordanian opposition forces called the National Forum to Support Resistance and the Islamic Movement, as reported by The New Arab’s Arabic sister outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The main slogan of the protesters, aimed at the Jordanian government and other Arab governments, was: "A land bridge to Gaza is required, not for the Zionists".

Others waved Palestinian flags and denounced Israel for its "genocide against the people of Gaza".

The protesters also took aim at Jordan’s 1994 peace and normalisation treaty with Israel, known as the Wadi Araba Treaty, with many demanding the Jordanian government end agreements it holds with Israel on water and energy.

Jordan’s place in the Dubai-Haifa land bridge is particularly important in the importation of fresh fruit and vegetables into Israel.

This has prompted anger from the protesters, who contrast Amman's role in allowing such imports into Israel given the siege on Gaza has seen cases of hunger and starvation among the Palestinian population there.

No Arab government involved with the Dubai-Haifa land corridor has publicly commented on it, but Israel has been keen to highlight the role of the land route in helping it avoid the Red Sea.

On Thursday, Israeli Transportation Minister Miri Regev appeared in a video standing at one of India’s ports with goods bound for Israel. 

"We are now at the Mundra port, the largest port in northern India," she said.

"From which all these shipments go to the Emirates, and from the Emirates by land to Israel."