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Jordanian Police Beat, Arrest Protestors

Demonstrators carry banners and flags as a flare burns during a protest in support of Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, outside Al Kalouti mosque near the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan, March 27, 2024. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Sukhni

AMMAN, March 27 (Reuters) - 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 on Wednesday.

More than two thousand protesters gathered late on Tuesday, 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.

The Israeli embassy, where protesters gather daily, has long been a flashpoint of anti-Israel protests at times of escalation of violence between Palestinians and Israel.

Many demonstrators chanted slogans in support of the militant Islamist 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 against Hamas has led to tens of thousands of civilian deaths, according to Gaza officials, and flattened many parts of the densely populated enclave.

Jordan has seen some of the biggest outpourings of public anger in the region since the war was triggered when Hamas fighters crossed into southern Israel on Oct.7 , killing 1,200 people and capturing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

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.

Amnesty International 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 polices 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.

© 2024 Reuters. All rights reserved

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