Amman (AFP) – Thousands of Jordanians took to the streets Friday calling on the government to scrap its peace treaty with Israel, which they accuse of violations in Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound.
Demonstrations broke out in several cities after weekly Muslim prayers, with around 5,000 rallying in Amman, where they torched an Israeli flag.
“No Zionist embassy on Jordanian soil,” chanted the demonstrators, who rallied at the call of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood.
They demanded the cancellation of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty, carrying signs that said “scrapping the Wadi Araba treaty is the response” to Israeli “violations” against Palestinians in Jerusalem.
“The land is ours, Jerusalem is ours and Allah is with us,” read another banner.
Anti-Israeli protests were also held in the northern cities of Zarqa and Irbid, in Mafraq in the east, Jerash in the northwest and in the southern port of Aqaba.
Jordan has custodian rights over the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews and scene of clashes last month between Palestinians youths and Israeli forces.
Since then the violence has spread to other parts of Jerusalem, Israel, the occupied West Bank and the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
The violence began on October 1, when a suspected cell of the Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza murdered a Jewish settler couple in the West Bank in front of their children.
A spate of stabbing attacks and violent protests have swept the Palestinian territories.
Seven Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded.
Thirty-three Palestinians have also died, including alleged attackers, and hundreds more been wounded in clashes with Israeli forces.
Friday’s protests came as Palestinians called for a “Friday of revolution” against Israel, and as Jerusalem police barred men under 40 from attending prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque.
Last month King Abdullah II warned that clashes at Al-Aqsa could have “serious consequences” and that any “provocation” in Jerusalem could damage ties between Jordan and Israel.
Amman withdrew its ambassador after clashes there last November.
On Wednesday, the Jordanian government said it was monitoring developments and that “legal and diplomatic decisions” could be taken in the face of “Israeli aggression”.