Thousands in Jordan call for end of peace treaty with Israel
In series of nationwide protests, leftist and Islamist activists call to cut ties with Israel, burning Israeli flags and chanting 'death, death to Israel.'
Thousands of Jordanians took to the streets on Friday demanding an end to the country's 18-year-old Wadi Araba peace treaty with Israel.
In a series of nationwide protests, leftist and Islamist activists urged Amman to cut ties with Israel, burning Israeli flags and chanting "death, death to Israel" and "the people want an end to Wadi Araba."
Protesters rallied in seven cities across the country, urging authorities to expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman, chanting "no to a Zionist embassy on our land."
Protest organizers, including the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and youth movements, said the demonstrations came as a direct response to King Abdullah's recent nomination of Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, who served as a key figure in the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace process.
Various political and social groups have expressed outrage over comments recently made by Tarawneh indicating that, if given a second chance, he would still support the controversial peace treaty.
"This is a person who obviously does not respect the people's will and his words are proof of how out of touch he is with average citizens," Jamil Abu Baker, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, told dpa.
Popular opinion in Jordan is that the 1994 Wadi Araba treaty is a failure, with politicians and officials accusing Israel of not respecting its obligations under the pact, particularly regarding water sharing, Amman's custodianship over holy sites in Jerusalem, and access to the Palestinian territories.
Friday marked a departure from activists' demands for democratic reforms, the focus of the vast majority of the some 1,000 protests that have hit Jordan since the start of the so-called Arab Spring uprisings that were triggered in late 2010.