Jordanians keep up Ramadan rallies for Gaza ceasefire

Jordanians keep up Ramadan rallies for Gaza ceasefire


Jordanian protesters have taken to Amman's streets nightly in their thousands during Ramadan.

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AMMAN (AFP) – Jordanian protesters have taken to Amman's streets nightly in their thousands during Ramadan, transforming the normally festive Muslim month into a solemn show of solidarity with Palestinians in war-battered Gaza.

"I don't think we can celebrate," said Ahmed al-Tubeigi, 32, ahead of the holiday of Eid al-Fitr later this week, which marks the end of the fasting month.

"It would be shameful," he said during a rally on Sunday.

"There's no Eid atmosphere."

Jordan, where about half of the population is of Palestinian origin, has seen numerous demonstrations in support of Gaza since war broke out on October 7 between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The rallies near the Israeli embassy in the capital Amman have drawn between 3,000 and 5,000 protesters every day, beginning after night prayers at around 10 pm.

More demonstrations, many of them following Friday prayers, have been held in other cities.

Tubeigi said he saw it as a duty to participate in the protests calling for a ceasefire in Gaza but also for an end to Jordan's peace treaty with Israel.

"It's the least we could do for our people in Gaza," said the demonstrator.

The Hamas attack that triggered the war resulted in the deaths of 1,170 Israelis and foreigners, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Israel's retaliatory campaign has killed at least 33,207 people in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

Protests began in Jordan, which neighbours Israel and the occupied West Bank, in October but have seen a spike during Ramadan.

In 1994 Jordan became the second Arab country, after Egypt, to recognise Israel and establish ties with it.


In the capital, demonstrators have been gathering near Al-Kalouti mosque, a short distance from the Israeli embassy, sometimes staying out until dawn before resuming their daily fast.

"It's better for me to be here and express my feelings, because I have a lot of anger in me," said Youmna al-Saadi, 13, who joined a recent protest with her sister Miral, 16, and their father Ibrahim.

"I can't just stay at home," added the teenager, wearing a Jordanian shemagh, a traditional red-and-white patterned cloth akin to the black-and-white Palestinian kuffiyeh that her sister wore.

Carrying Jordanian and Palestinian flags, demonstrators chanted slogans denouncing US support for Israel and backing Hamas and its Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar.

On October 17 dozens of demonstrators tried to storm the Israeli embassy before security forces fired tear gas at them and dispersed them.

Saleh Muhammad, 58, said Jordanians protesting in support of Gaza were "exercising our constitutional right to demonstrate to convey a message peacefully".

Eleven-year-old Tamim al-Ghanem's family travels daily from Zarqa, northeast of Amman, to take part in the protests.

"I feel sad that the world has reached this level of crimes," Tamim said.

His father, Mohammad, agreed. "The war has endured and crimes increased," he said.