Protests continue for second day in front of Israel embassy in Amman

Protests continue for second day in front of Israel embassy in Amman
Thousands of demonstrators protested in front of the Israeli embassy in Jordan against Israel's assault on hospitals in Gaza.
3 min read
26 March, 2024
Protests in Jordan are allowed within narrow boundaries, especially those critical of the government's policies. [Getty]

Demonstrators gathered for the second day of protests in front of the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan, on Tuesday, condemning Israel's targeting of hospitals in Gaza and urging the Jordanian government to take stronger action against Israel.

The night prior, on Monday, thousands of protesters broke past a security cordon in front of the Israeli embassy before being dispersed by tear gas and police swinging batons, leaving several injured.

At least two hundred protesters were arrested on Monday, the vast majority of which were released overnight, according to Khaled al-Juhni. the office director of the Islah parliamentary bloc, affiliated with the Khazab group and Islamic Action Front, who attended the protest.

Demonstrators chanted slogans against the presence of the Israeli embassy in Jordan and called for the 1994 Wadi Arab peace treaty between the two countries to be severed.

"There were men, women, young and old people all there in solidarity with Palestine. They were denouncing the [Israeli] escalation in Al-Aqsa mosque, their blockade on al-Shifa hospital and their assaults on the dignity of people," Khaled al-Juhni told The New Arab.

Protests have been continuous since Israel's war on Gaza started in response to Hamas's 7 October surprise operation.

More than 32,000 Palestinians, the majority of whom are women and children, have been killed since the start of Israel's military operation.

Jordan has allowed some protests but has cracked down on any demonstrations that approached the Israel-Jordan border or embassies.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Jordan arrested or harassed likely hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters since October.

"Jordanian authorities are trampling the right to free expression and assembly to tamp down Gaza-related activism," Lama Fakih, the Middle East Director at HRW, said.

One of the protesters arrested at Monday's demonstration was al-Juhni's 19-year-old son, who he said he has not been able to locate since.

"I am worried about him. I have asked the government where he is, but they won't answer me. This is a form of psychological torture for the families," al-Juhni said.

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Mismatch between rhetoric and reality

Jordan's government has been outspoken in condemning Israel's assault, presenting a UN resolution that called for a ceasefire in Gaza, as well as expelling the Israeli ambassador to Jordan.

Jordanians have said that the Jordanian government's actions have not matched up with its rhetoric and have called for it to cancel the peace treaty and be more insistent on bringing in aid to Gaza.

They have accused Jordan of facilitating a "land bridge" of products from the Arab Gulf to Israel, which they say contravenes the Houthi-led sea blockade of Israel. Protesters have also called for Jordan to ban exports of Jordanian produce to Israel.

The Jordanian government has denied the existence of the so-called land bridge, nor that the country's produce exports support Israel in any fashion.