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Jordan riot police use batons to push back protesters near Israel embassy

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Jordanian anti-riot police beat and arrested dozens of demonstrators trying to march towards the heavily guarded Israeli embassy in the capital Amman, witnesses and residents said today according to Reuters.

More than 2,000 protesters gathered late yesterday, the third day of demonstrations which have been marred with clashes, after baton wielding police pushed back hundreds of angry crowds seeking to storm the embassy compound in the affluent Rabae district of Amman.

Many demonstrators chanted slogans in support of Hamas. Jordanian authorities are alarmed that Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza could broaden the popularity of the Hamas movement among many Jordanians.

“Oh Hamas…All of Jordan’s people are behind you,” the protesters chanted.

Passions have run high among Jordanians, many of whom are of Palestinian origin, over the carnage in Gaza as Israel’s relentless bombing campaign has led to tens of thousands of civilian deaths and flattened many parts of the densely populated enclave.

Jordan has seen some of the biggest outpourings of public anger in the region since Israel launched its war on 7 October.

Authorities in Jordan say peaceful protests are allowed but they would not tolerate any attempt by mobs who sought to exploit anger against Israel to create havoc or try to reach a border zone with the Israeli occupied West Bank or Israel.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) last month called on Jordanian authorities to end what it said was a sweeping crackdown that has seen hundreds of people arrested for expressing their support for Palestinians in Gaza or criticising Jordanian government policies towards Israel.

Many demonstrators slam perceived inaction by authorities, saying their compatriots in Gaza were being left to face Israel’s military might alone.

Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel is widely unpopular among many citizens who see normalisation as betraying the rights of their Palestinian compatriots.

Source: Middle East Monitor

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