Hundreds of Jordanians protest Israel peace deal

05/05/2012 11:36


From Jerusalem Post

Hundreds of Jordanians burned Israeli and US flags in Amman on Friday and called for the cancellation of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace accord.

Anti-Israel sentiment surfaced following Friday prayers during a demonstration against the newly sworn in government headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Tarawneh.


ordan's King Abdullah swore in a government dominated by conservatives under Tarawneh on Wednesday and tasked it with preparing parliamentary elections expected later this year.

According to The Jordan Times, Islamists and youth activists say the march came in response to remarks by Tarawneh, who played a key role in the Israeli-Jordanian peace process, that if given a second chance, he would still support signing the agreement with Israel.

“This treaty has only legitimized Zionists’ illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and has opened the door to official attempts to encourage other Arab and Muslim states to recognize Israel,” The Jordan Times quoted Muslim Brotherhood Spokesman Jamil Abu Baker as saying on Thursday.

Protesters on Friday also called for comprehensive reform and an elected government rather than an appointed cabinet.

Tarawneh's government was installed after the surprise resignation last week of his predecessor Awn Khasawneh, a respected international judge, in a move politicians attributed to a power struggle with the security services.

During his six months in office, Khasawneh had tried to persuade the Islamist opposition to drop their boycott of elections which they say are unfair because the rules favor tribal and rural areas over Islamists' urban, predominantly Palestinian strongholds.

His departure makes it less likely the Islamists will come in from the cold, analysts say.

King Abdullah appointed Tarawneh, a US-educated politician who has previously held several senior government posts, on Thursday and asked him to speed up political reforms which the monarch blamed Khaswaneh for slowing.

Politicians say Khasawneh had been entangled in a struggle over prerogatives with the intelligence services, ormukhabarat.The powerful mukhabarat were said to be unhappy with Khasawneh's handling of a major anti-corruption campaign that resulted in many judicial probes against senior officials.

Khasawneh had also proposed electoral reform that drew fire from many sides. Tribal lawmakers felt it favored Islamists, while some Islamists were unhappy because its proposed party list system might have curbed the number of seats they could win.

Reuters contributed to this report.