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Five Days of Rage in Jordan for Palestine

3. April 2002

by Dr. Hisham Bustani, Amman, April 2, 2002

Five Days of Rage in Jordan for Palestine and the Expulsion of the Zionist Embassy

– Protests all over Jordan
– Police violates the campus of Jordan University
– Police causes hundreds of injuries
– Demands of the Jordanian Arab masses

For the past five days, the Jordanian Arab people were in continuous, non-stop, in-the-street solidarity with their brothers in Palestine who are facing the severest Zionist attack since the beginning of the Arab-Zionist

Last Friday, the demonstrations began in various locations in Amman. One
demonstration started down-town Amman and was quickly attacked by anti-riot police. Another demonstration in Al-Rabia area heading for the Zionist Embassy was fiercely attacked and dispersed by anti-riot police.

Also, refugee camps in and around Amman had continuous activities and
demonstrations. Al-Wihdat, Al-Baq`a, Al-Naser, Al-Hussien, Hittein and other refugee camps were blasting with pro-Palestine demonstrations on a daily basis, especially those in Al-Baq`a and Al-Wihdat which witnessed heavy confrontations between demonstrators and ant-riot police. Many injuries and arrests were reported. There were also many incidents of suffocation involving families and children who received non-stop all-night exposure to tear gas which was dropped un-specifically in these very crowded camps.

The students of Yarmouk, Philadilphia, Applied Science, Isra`, Al Al-Beit
and Jordan Universities organized large demonstrations against the Zionist
massacres that were prohibited by the police to leave the campus areas. The largest of those took place yesterday (Tuesday) in Jordan University, and as the students managed to open the chained university gates, anti-riot police attacked the students very fiercely with clubs and tear gas, they ENTERED THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS hitting everyone in their way. This violation is un-precedented since police forces violated Al-Yarmouk University back in 1986. Student sources reported sustaining heavy injuries. The Jordan University Hospital was full with emergency cases. Primary reports indicate that 60-70 students sustained heavy injuries, and around 30-40 were arrested. Two students (in Jordan University Hospital) were reported to have sustained extremely heavy injuries and are now in a very critical status, with one of them (a female student) having a fractured back. Mr. Majed Toubeh, a Journalist for Al-Arab Al-Yawm newspaper was also beaten heavily and arrested for some hours. The newspaper also reported that other journalist were beaten and/or banned from covering the story by confiscating cameras and films.

Also yesterday, a general strike in solidarity with Palestine, called for by the Union of Professional Associations (UPA) and the Political Opposition Parties, was successful. Shops and stores in Amman, Irbid, Karak, Baqa`a and other locations closed down from 8:00am until 2:00pm. The UPA also witnessed a sit-in for Palestine after anti-riot police stopped by force the masses from leaving the UPA`s front yard.

On Tuesday evening, a large demonstration organized by Arab women US-citizens residing in Amman, with the participation of popular activists
and groups, moved from towards the American Embassy compound in Amman. The
1000 demonstrators who were stopped at about 100 meters away from the heavily-guarded compound sat on the ground chanting anti-American Slogans,
demanding the departure of both the US and the Zionist Embassy. The crowd
was finally forced to disperse after anti-riot police attacked the crowd
with clubs and belts, inflicting many injuries.

Today, an estimated 15,000 demonstrators marched from the Union of Professional Associations Complex in Shmeisani-Amman to the Jordanian
Parliament under heavy rain. The all-wet masses demanded an end to the Arab silence, and stressed yet again the most persistent demand: the expulsion of the Zionist ambassador, the closure of the Zionist Embassy and cutting diplomatic ties with the Zionist entity.

The same day witnessed a pro-Palestine demonstration in Karak (150 km south of Amman), Irbid (80 km north of Amman) and Zarqa (20 km north-east).

The Jordanian Arab masses are in complete solidarity and actual solidarity
with their brothers in Palestine. The main slogans that were chanted were
“Listen Abu-Ragheb [Jordan`s PM], the Zionist [Embassy] must go out”, “No to the peace solution, yes to the armed struggle”, “No for 242 [UN resolution]”, “Palestine is Arab, from the Sea to the River”, “What is the
[Arab] Summit for? Instead of the Summit bring your armies”, and other
slogans saluting armed resistance in Palestine and Lebanon, saluting Iraq
and condemning the US.

The Jordanian masses no longer accept the official silence of the Arab regimes and demand a direct military operation from the Arab armies to liberate Palestine and stop the massacres. The Arab people of Jordan no
longer tolerate the presence of the Zionist Embassy in Amman, and the
so-called “peace accords” with the Zionist enemy.

The DIRECT demands of the Jordanian masses are:
1- The closure of the Zionist embassy and the expulsion of the Zionist
2- Canceling the “Wadi Araba” peace accord with the Zionist enemy.
3- Facilitation of military support to the Intifada and the armed resistance factions.
4- Stopping the violation of liberties and human rights by Abu-Ragheb`s
government, and the release of all political prisoners.