Jordanians march to border with Israel in show of support for Palestinians
Thousands of protesters in Jordan marched toward the border with Israel on Friday morning, waving Palestinian flags and calling for the border to be opened.
“To Palestine, to Palestine. We are going to Palestine. We are going in millions as martyrs to Palestine,” the crowds chanted.
The protests came as a show of solidarity towards besieged Palestinians, who are currently bearing the brunt of artillery and air strikes in Gaza and of violent mobs across Israeli-controlled territories.
The planned expulsion of 38 Palestinians from the historic East Jerusalem neigbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah revived Palestinian resistance throughout Israel and triggered a brutal wave of repression from both settler communities and soldiers.
Friday morning saw further Israeli bombardments of besieged Gaza, where at least 119 Palestinians have been killed.
The Arabic hashtag “let’s go to the border” trended on Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday before the call was heeded.
Riot police blocked the path before protesters could reach the demarcation line, firing teargas and shooting in the air as around 500 demonstrators attempted to reach a Allenby Bridge leading into the West Bank.
Around 2,000 people took part in the protest, according to estimates. Several thousands also took to the streets after praying at the main Husseini mosque in central Amman.
Jordanians have staged protests near the Israeli Embassy in Amman for several days, calling on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador, in one of the largest expressions of solidarity towards Palestinians.
Jordan has otherwise reacted mildly to outbreaks of violence on the other side of the border since King Hussein in 1994 signed a treaty normalizing relations with Israel.
Relations between Amman and Tel Aviv have frayed in recent months since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled the visit of Crown Prince Hussein to the Al-Aqsa mosque in March.