Jordanians voice anger at Mideast peace plan

Palestinians wave their national flags during a protest against the US Mideast peace plan, after noon prayers on the main road in Gaza City, on Friday. (AP)
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Updated 22 February 2020

Jordanians voice anger at Mideast peace plan

  • Mahdi Abdul Hadi, a member of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, said that protests “cemented the Palestinian identity and ensured the transfer of the sacred trust to the new generation”

AMMAN: Widespread protests against the US Mideast peace plan continued for a fifth Friday in Jordan with Palestinians, Jordanians and other nationals massing on Jordan’s streets to voice their support for Palestine.
Hundreds of protesters responded to a call to defeat the so-called “deal of the century” by gathering outside the US Embassy in Amman and chanting slogans, such as “Jerusalem is a red line; the deal of the century will disappear forever; Amman is the twin city of Jerusalem; and we will not mortgage ourselves to the occupation and become partners in the crime.”
Murad Adaileh, secretary-general of the Islamic Action Front, told Arab News that Jordanians traveled from around the country to join protests against US President Donald Trump’s peace deal.
“This plan and those who adopted it are against Jordan and its people. This morning Jordanians came out in their thousands for the dawn prayers to express their commitment not to give up on our holy places,” he said.
In Palestine, thousands gathered at Al-Aqsa Mosque during pre-dawn prayers to stage a seventh Friday of demonstrations.
Mahdi Abdul Hadi, a member of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, said that protests “cemented the Palestinian identity and ensured the transfer of the sacred trust to the new generation.”

HIGHLIGHT

Hundreds of protesters responded to a call to defeat the so-called ‘deal of the century’ by gathering outside the US Embassy in Amman and chanting slogans warning that ‘Jerusalem is a red line.’

“Fear has been defeated and people are willing to bear the responsibility and result of the protests,” he added.
“These morning prayers in Naser Mosque in Nablus, the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and in Jenin, Qalqilya and other locations show the unity of the people and their communal message of steadfastness and resistance with dignity,” he told Arab News.
In Gaza, protests were held after Friday prayers in many locations.
Talal Abu Tharifeh, a leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said the protests highlighted Palestinian unity. “These protests in which Islamic and national forces are combined reflect the unity of the people in rejecting the Trump-Netanyahu vision.”
Firas Abadi, head of the Shury Party, said that the message to the US and Israel is that “this plan will not pass.”
“The public is aware and willing to sacrifice for the Palestinian cause.”
In the northern Jordanian city of Irbid hundreds protested after the Friday prayer by chanting “This is a treasonous and shameful plan and that some countries have conspired against Jordan and Palestine,” he added.
In Jordan’s Zarqa city, protesters came out in large numbers to voice their anger at a Jordanian gas deal with Israel.
“From Zarqa, we are all willing to sacrifice for Al-Aqsa,” they chanted.
Hamzeh Mansour, the Islamic Movement leader, said: “From Ramtha to Aqaba, the Palestinian blood has mingled with Jordanian blood. We are all committed to stopping this dangerous chapter of the Palestinian cause in which Jerusalem, refugees and the Palestinian state all have been denied their rights.”


Erdogan under fire over plea for cash

Updated 01 April 2020

Erdogan under fire over plea for cash

  • The new fund replaces donation accounts set up by Erdogan’s political rivals

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been accused of dodging his responsibilities by launching a nationwide donation campaign to help low-income earners struggling with the coronavirus outbreak.

The new fund replaces donation accounts set up by Erdogan’s political rivals in the Ankara and Istanbul municipalities, which were abruptly blocked by the Interior Ministry.

Many people prefer making donations to city mayors because it offers greater transparency on how their money is spent.

Erdogan’s new campaign, labeled “We are self-sufficient, Turkey,” called on Turkish citizens to make financial donations to a specific bank account. The president promised to donate seven months of his salary, and the Cabinet joined the appeal with a donation of more than $790,000.

“Our goal is to help those financially struggling, especially daily wage workers, due to the precautions taken against the outbreak,” Erdogan said.

But opposition IYI Party leader Meral Aksener said Erdogan’s “salary is not enough … instead he should donate the plane given to him by the Qatari emir.”

With thousands facing wage cuts or joblessness amid tightened measures to curb the outbreak, Erdogan’s call for nationwide donations has been widely criticized as an attempt to avoid government responsibility.

Other critics said that the donation campaign was a last resort to avoid asking for help from the International Monetary Fund because of Turkey’s economic problems.

Research analyst Sinem Adar said the campaign was motivated by Erdogan’s rivalry with the Istanbul and Ankara municipalities.