Outpouring of anger as thousands of Jordanians protest at Israeli embassy

Outpouring of anger as thousands of Jordanians protest at Israeli embassy
Demonstrators gather outside the Israeli embassy headquarters in Amman late on October 18, 2023 to show solidarity with the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. (File/AFP)
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Updated 28 March 2024
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Outpouring of anger as thousands of Jordanians protest at Israeli embassy

Outpouring of anger as thousands of Jordanians protest at Israeli embassy
  • Surge in protests sparked by claims of Israeli soldiers raping, executing Palestinian women
  • Many of Jordan’s 12m citizens are descendants of displaced Palestinians

AMMAN: Thousands of Jordanians marched to the Israeli embassy in Amman on Wednesday for the fourth consecutive day in an outpouring of anger at Israel’s brutal war on Gaza.

“The people demand the end of Wadi Araba,” some chanted, referring to Jordan’s 1994 peace treaty with Israel.




Hundreds of security personal stationed nearby by the heavily fortified Israeli embassy in Amman. (AN Photo/Tamara Turki)

Protestors, who began gathering at the Kaloti mosque around 10 p.m., were met by hundreds of security personal and military tanks in anticipation of the planned march to the heavily fortified Israeli embassy nearby.

Ambulances and medical teams were stationed as a precaution in the wake of days marked by violent confrontations between protestors and riot police.

Jordan has had some of the largest peaceful protests in the region since October, with regular marches in downtown Amman drawing hundreds of thousands of people on consecutive Fridays.

However, several demonstrators on Wednesday told Arab News the recent surge of daily gatherings near the Israel embassy were triggered by claims by Jamila Al-Hissi, a Palestinian woman, who told Al Jazeera Arabic of Israeli soldiers torturing, raping and executing women inside Al-Shifa hospital.

There have been reports that Al-Hissa’s claimed were denied on March 25 by a former Al Jazeera executive, who referenced a purported Hamas investigation.




"We are the children of refugee camps," Jordanian protesters of Palestinian origin chanted. (AN Photo/Tamara Turki)

Jordanians have felt the impact of the war in Gaza deeply, where Israel’s relentless bombing has killed over 32,000 Palestinians.

Many of Jordan’s 12 million citizens are descendants of Palestinians who fled or were expelled during the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. “We are the children of refugee camps," demonstrators on Wednesday chanted.

“I’m devastated that we haven’t been able to help Gaza. The least that we can do is to be here so that our brothers and sisters in Palestine know that we’re standing with them,” 29-year-old Haneen Ashour told Arab News.

Popular chants like “No Zionist embassy on Jordanian soil” reflect the widespread public opposition to diplomatic normalization with Israel, seen as a betrayal of the Palestinians suffering under occupation.




Jordanian demonstraters carry posters during a gathering nearby the Israeli embassy in Amman in protest of war in Gaza. (AN Photo/Tamara Turki) 

Despite the large turnout and passionate demonstrations, some protesters have expressed doubt about the impact of their actions.

“This is our duty and it’s the least that we can do, but to be honest with you I don’t (know if) these protests are making any difference. If they were, we wouldn’t be 171 days into the war in Gaza,” 24-year-old Ammar Najar said.

Several protesters were beaten in previous days, and dozens were arrested as they attempted to break a heavy police cordon around the embassy, witnesses said.

Jordan’s authorities allow protests but say they cannot tolerate any attempt to storm the embassy, instigate civic unrest or try to reach borders with the occupied West Bank or Israel.
 


Cyprus says maritime aid shipments to Gaza ‘on track’

Updated 8 sec ago
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Cyprus says maritime aid shipments to Gaza ‘on track’

Cyprus says maritime aid shipments to Gaza ‘on track’
1,000 tons of aid were shipped from Cyprus to the besieged Palestinian territory between Friday and Sunday
The vessels were shuttling between Gaza and the east Mediterranean island

NICOSIA: Four ships from the United States and France are transporting aid from Larnaca port to the Gaza Strip amid the spiralling humanitarian crisis there, the Cyprus presidency said on Tuesday.
Victor Papadopoulos from the presidential press office told state radio 1,000 tons of aid were shipped from Cyprus to the besieged Palestinian territory between Friday and Sunday.
He said the vessels were shuttling between Gaza and the east Mediterranean island, a distance of about 360 kilometers (225 miles).
Large quantities of aid from Britain, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and other countries have accumulated at Larnaca port.
Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides told reporters on Tuesday the maritime aid effort was “on track.”
“We have substantial assistance from third countries that want to contribute to this effort,” he said.
The aid shipped from Cyprus is entering Gaza via a temporary US-built floating pier, where the shipments are offloaded for distribution.
The United Nations has warned of famine as Gaza’s 2.4 million people face shortages of food, safe water, medicines and fuel amid the Israel-Hamas war that has devastated the coastal territory.
Aid deliveries by truck have slowed to a trickle since Israeli forces took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing with Egypt in early May.
The war in Gaza broke out after Hamas’s unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.
Two days after the war broke out, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” on the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 35,647 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to figures provided by the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

Daesh attack in Syria kills three soldiers: war monitor

Daesh attack in Syria kills three soldiers: war monitor
Updated 21 May 2024
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Daesh attack in Syria kills three soldiers: war monitor

Daesh attack in Syria kills three soldiers: war monitor
  • The militants “attacked a site where... regime forces were stationed“
  • The Syrian army had sent forces to the area, where Daesh attacks are common

BEIRUT: Daesh group militants killed three Syrian soldiers in an attack Tuesday on an army position in the Badia desert, a war monitor said.
The militants “attacked a site where... regime forces were stationed,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that a lieutenant colonel and two soldiers died.
The Syrian army had sent forces to the area, where Daesh attacks are common, ahead of an expected wider sweep, said the Britain-based Observatory which has a network of sources inside the country.
In an attack on May 3, Daesh fighters killed at least 15 Syrian pro-government fighters when they targeted three military positions in the desert, the Observatory had reported.
Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a so-called caliphate and launching a reign of terror.
It was defeated territorially in Syria in 2019, but its remnants still carry out deadly attacks, particularly against pro-government forces and Kurdish-led fighters in Badia desert.
Syria’s war has claimed more than half a million lives and displaced millions more since it erupted in March 2011 with Damascus’s brutal repression of anti-government protests.


At least 9 Egyptian women and children die when vehicle slides off ferry and plunges into Nile River

At least 9 Egyptian women and children die when vehicle slides off ferry and plunges into Nile River
Updated 21 May 2024
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At least 9 Egyptian women and children die when vehicle slides off ferry and plunges into Nile River

At least 9 Egyptian women and children die when vehicle slides off ferry and plunges into Nile River
  • The accident, which happened in Monshat el-Kanater town in Giza province, also injured nine other passengers

CAIRO: At least nine Egyptian women and children died Tuesday when a small bus carrying about two dozen people slid off a ferry and plunged into the Nile River just outside Cairo, health authorities said.
The accident, which happened in Monshat el-Kanater town in Giza province, injured nine other passengers, the Health Ministry said in a statement. Giza is one of three provinces forming Greater Cairo.
Six of the injured were treated at the site while three others were transferred to hospitals. The ministry didn’t elaborate on their injuries.
A list of the nine dead obtained by The Associated Press showed four were minors.
Giza provincial Gov. Ahmed Rashed said the bus was retrieved from the river and rescue efforts were still underway as of midday Tuesday.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.
According to the state-owned Akhbar daily, about two dozen passengers, mostly women, were in the vehicle heading to work when the accident occurred. It said security forces detained the vehicle driver.
Ferry, railway and road accidents are common in Egypt, mainly because of poor maintenance and lack of regulations. In February, a ferry carrying day laborers sank in the Nile in Giza, killing at least 10 of the 15 people on board.


Syrian first lady Asma Assad has leukemia, presidency says

Syrian first lady Asma Assad has leukemia, presidency says
Updated 21 May 2024
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Syrian first lady Asma Assad has leukemia, presidency says

Syrian first lady Asma Assad has leukemia, presidency says
  • Statement stated that Asma would undergo a special treatment protocol that would require her to isolate

DUBAI: Syria’s first lady, Asma Assad, has been diagnosed with leukemia, the Syrian presidency said on Tuesday, almost five years after she announced she had fully recovered from breast cancer.
The statement said Asma, 48, would undergo a special treatment protocol that would require her to isolate, and that she would step away from public engagements as a result.
In August 2019, Asma said she had fully recovered from breast cancer that she said had been discovered early.
Since Syria plunged into war in 2011, the British-born former investment banker has taken on the public role of leading charity efforts and meeting families of killed soldiers, but has also become hated by the opposition.
She runs the Syria Trust for Development, a large NGO that acts as an umbrella organization for many of the aid and development operations in Syria.
Last year, she accompanied her husband, President Bashar Assad ,on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, her first known official trip abroad with him since 2011. She met Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Emirati president’s mother, during a trip seen as a public signal of her growing role in public affairs.


Yemen’s Houthis say they downed US drone over Al-Bayda province

Yemen’s Houthis say they downed US drone over Al-Bayda province
Updated 21 May 2024
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Yemen’s Houthis say they downed US drone over Al-Bayda province

Yemen’s Houthis say they downed US drone over Al-Bayda province
  • The Houthis said last Friday they downed another US MQ9 drone over the southeastern province of Maareb

DUBAI: Yemen’s Houthis downed a US MQ9 drone over Al-Bayda province in southern Yemen, the Iran-aligned group’s military spokesperson said in a televised statement on Tuesday.

Yahya Saree said the drone was targeted with a locally made surface-to-air missile and that videos to support the claim would be released.

The Houthis said last Friday they downed another US MQ9 drone over the southeastern province of Maareb.

The group, which controls Yemen’s capital and most populous areas of the Arabian Peninsula state, has attacked international shipping in the Red Sea since November in solidarity with the Palestinians in the war between Israel and Hamas militants, drawing US and British retaliatory strikes since February.