Israeli Attack on Jordanians in Lebanon Sparks Waves of Protest
By Mohammad Omar
The Israeli shooting Saturday, which wounded for members of a Jordanian delegation on a visit to the Lebanon-Israeli border and a Lebanese, has sparked waves of protest at an official and popular level.
The Jordanian government condemned the Israeli shooting, and demanded that Tel Aviv apologize officially for the incident.
Jordan's official news agency PETRA reported Sunday that Saleh Rsheidat, deputy prime minister and acting foreign minister, has summoned the Israeli ambassador and informed him of the kingdom's condemnation of the attack.
"The government of the Kingdom of Jordan is shocked and displeased following this incident that it considers outright aggression against unarmed Jordanian citizens," said an official statement in Amman late Saturday.
In the meanwhile, head of the Islamic Action Front bureau in Amman, Amad Youssef, told Albawaba.com that angered popular delegations gathered Sunday morning at Amman airport to receive Ali Abu Sukkar, head of the anti-normalization committee at the professional union, who was hit in the accident, together with the other injured, Rashed Ramahi, Ghassan Haj, and Said Saleh.
The four were among 140 unionists, representing 14 associations, who arrived last Thursday in Lebanon "to congratulate the Lebanese for the liberation of south Lebanon," Taher Shakhshir, head of the Jordan's Professional Unions Council told Albawaba.com in a telephone call from Lebanon on Saturday.
"When the delegation arrived at the border line, they were overwhelmed by patriotic feelings and began chanting anti-Israeli slogans in celebration of Lebanon's victory, and the Israelis responded by firing at the demonstrators," he added.
For their part, political parties and heads of the professional unions urged the Jordanian government to expel the Israeli ambassador to Amman.
In a statement issued following an urgent meeting of 13 professional associations Saturday, the unionists also called for "closing down the Israeli embassy as it serves as a center for espionage."
The call was echoed by three opposition parties: Popular Unity Democratic Party, Jordanian People's Democratic Party and the Jordanian Baath Socialist Party.
The IAF came out of a similar statement the same day in which it called on Jordan and Lebanon "to retaliate in a proper way to the aggression."
The Islamists urged the Jordanian and Lebanese people "to learn from the Zionist aggression... and to take it as incentive to stand in the face of the Zionist plans and normalization policies," adopted by Arabs in peace with Israel.
The Israeli embassy in Amman was not available for comment when contacted by Albawaba.com.
Israeli military radio said Sunday Israeli troops have been ordered to fire live rounds at anyone trying to "infiltrate" into Israel from southern Lebanon, following an increasing number of incidents at the border fence.
The Israeli army said the men, who were slightly wounded, were shot after they tried to "infiltrate Israeli territory."
An Israeli military spokesman did not deny the radio report, saying, "The Israeli army reaffirms that it will prevent attempts at infiltration which have increased recently, and will react, after warnings, as is required in this type of situation, according to AFP - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)