By Thameen Kheetan
AMMAN – Jordanian towns on Friday witnessed several pro-reform and pro-Palestinians demonstrations in which thousands of people took part.
While two protests in the capital marked the 44th anniversary of the 1967 Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, hundreds in Amman and three other cities in the south called for “genuine” political reforms and battling corruption in Jordan.
Hundreds of opposition party members and supporters rallied in downtown Amman calling for political reforms, as well as the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
On June 5, 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, in a war Arabs refer to as the “Naksa”, or setback.
The Israelis later withdrew from Sinai, under a peace treaty with Egypt, keeping Gaza under military siege.
A few kilometres away from the Israeli embassy near the Kalouti Mosque in Amman’s Rabieh district, dozens of pro-Palestinian activists called for an end to Jordan’s 1994 peace treaty with Israel and the expulsion of Tel Aviv’s ambassador from the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, hundreds rallied in the southern towns of Karak, Theeban and Tafileh, as well as in Amman’s Tafaileh neighbourhood, calling for speedy reforms and more efforts to eradicate corruption in the country.
In Karak, several hundreds marched from a mosque in the Marj neighbourhood after Friday’s prayers to the governorate headquarters. The 500-metre walk was followed by a sit-in that saw pro-reform speeches and anti-corruption slogans, according to protest organiser Basel Bashabsheh.