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Thousands of Jordanians protest Trump's 'Deal of the Century', stage sit-in outside US embassy

The Hashemite Kingdom is the guardian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 January, 2020

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Cities across Jordan erupted in protest against Trump's plan to end the Israel-Palestine conflict, calling for an end to the Israel-Jordan peace treaty in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
Thousands of angry protesters took to the streets of Amman and cities across Jordan on Friday, in a collective show of solidarity with Palestinians, voicing their outrage at a Middle East peace deal announced by US President Donald Trump.

The so-called 'Deal of the Century' condemns Palestinians to further land grabs, offering Israel free reign to annex large parts of the West Bank and Jordan Valley, as well as guaranteeing the permanence and prosperity of Israel's settlements, considered illegal under international law.

While population statistics are not exact, at least half of Jordan's citizens are of Palestinian origin, with 2.1 million Palestinian refugees registered in the country.

Chanting "Death to Israel", the crowds began their march in front of Amman's iconic Al-Husseini Mosque, amid a heavy security presence, according to AFP.

Friday's large-scale demonstrations were organised by a coalition of national parties, including the Jordanian Islamist Movement, with support from a wide range of student and civil society organisations, according to Andalou Agency.

Protesters burnt Israeli flags and demanded that their government oppose the plan decisively, calling for the expulsion the Israeli ambassador to Jordan and the annulment of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty.

Protesters also urged for a unified effort among Arab states to protect Jordan's custodianship of holy sites within Jerusalem, the site of the al-Aqsa mosque, where Amman accuses Israel of carrying out endless provocations.

Hundreds staged a sit-in outside the American embassy in the Jordanian capital following Friday prayers, with similar numbers taking to the streets in the cities of Irbid, in the country's north, in Karak, south of Amman, and in Salt, northwest of the capital.

On Sunday, King Abdullah II publicly announced he would reject the deal if it impinged on Jordanian interests.

"Our position is perfectly well-known. We will not agree to proposals that come at our expense," he said, according to Israeli media.

"Our position on the Palestinian cause is clear, and the word 'no' is very clear to everyone."

On Friday, Abdullah II reaffirmed Jordan's "firm position" on the Palestinian issue in a phone conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a palace statement said.

He said Jordan would stand by the Palestinian people to set up an independent state, based on pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, the statement added.

Trump's plan, announced on Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood by his side at a Washington press conference, shows clear bias towards Israel and was angrily rejected by Palestinians.

One of the fundamental points of contention is its classification of Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided capital".

Palestinians have long seen the city's east, occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, as the capital of their future state.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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