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Rallies held around Jordan to protest Israeli measures in Al Aqsa

By Muath Freij - Nov 08,2014 - Last updated at Nov 08,2014

AMMAN — Hundreds of Jordanians took to the streets of the capital on Friday in protest against Israeli actions in Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The Muslim Brotherhood organised a rally in downtown Amman, while leftist parties held a protest outside Kalouti Mosque near the Israeli embassy in the capital’s Rabiah neighbourhood.

In downtown Amman, men, women and children marched following Friday prayers, chanting slogans expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Jerusalem and highlighting the importance of Al Haram Al Sharif, the third holiest shrine in Islam. 

They also commended the government for recalling Jordan’s ambassador to Israel.

The government last Wednesday recalled Jordanian Ambassador in Tel Aviv Walid Obeidat for consultations following an Israeli raid on Al Aqsa Mosque. 

Far-right Jewish groups had attempted to storm the mosque, leading to clashes between Palestinians defending the complex and Israeli occupation forces.

Protester Ahmad Harasis described the step taken by the government as “positive”.

“We will support the government taking further measures against Israel,” he told The Jordan Times as he marched from Al Husseini Mosque.

Zaki Bani Rsheid, deputy overall leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said in a statement sent to The Jordan Times that the positive action taken by the government is a step in the right direction, but more is needed.

“The government has to review overall relations with the Zionists by closing down the embassy in Amman, dismissing the Zionist ambassador and working to cancel the Wadi Araba agreement,” Bani Rsheid added.

Sultan Natsheh, another protester, said the demonstration expresses the anger of Arabs and Muslims over what is happening in Palestine.

“This is also a message to Arab governments that people will not remain silent over what is happening in Al Aqsa,” he added.

Basem Ibrahim said Arab governments have to work together to protect Al Haram Al Sharif.

“Israel has gone too far because of the silence of Arab governments,” Ibrahim added.

Similar rallies were also held in Irbid Governorate, 80km north of Amman, and in Karak’s Faqou District in the south, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Protesters called for international and regional efforts to protect holy sites in Jerusalem from Israeli attacks, as well as worshippers and Palestinians.

They said Israel’s “frequent and systematic” violations seek to alter the identity of Islamic holy sites and Judaise the city, warning that these unilateral measures, if left unchecked, will lead to “an explosion” in the region.

Arab disunity and internal disputes have encouraged “the Zionists” to press on with these violations, the protesters added, according to Petra.

Rally participants also commended Jordan’s efforts to defend Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem.

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