Palestinian Refugees Protesting Israeli Massacres Clash with Jordanian Police
By Jihad Abu Falah
Clashes between hundreds of Palestinian refugees in the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Amman and Jordanian riot police extended for hours Thursday evening.
The confrontation broke out after the sunset prayers when the worshippers rushed to the narrow streets of Wehdat Camp chanting in condemnation of Israeli massacres over the past week in Palestine.
The demonstrators reacted violently to the police’s attempt to block them from taking to a road leading out of the camp. They began throwing stones at the police, who responded by attacking them with their batons and firing tear gas to disperse them.
According to eyewitnesses, the rally was heading for the Israeli embassy in west Amman, which the Jordanian security forces has successfully stopped any violent acts against.
The anti-riot police was able to drive the angry crowds back to their camp, but the refugees, in turn, set fire to old tires at the gates of the camp trying to block the security’s way in.
More police vehicles were arriving at the camp to back up the their colleagues who apparently found difficulty in bringing things under control.
Jordan, which hosts more than 1.5 million Palestinian refugees, has witnessed a number of protests in solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada, some of them were suppressed brutally.
Earlier, Jordanian journalists set out on a peaceful march organized by their union to protest Israeli aggressions against the Palestinians.
The students of Amman Private University also staged a sit-in opposite to the UN headquarters in Shmeissani, Amman.
There have also been campaigns to raise money and donate blood on behalf of the Palestinian people.
More demonstrations are expected Friday after the noon prayers.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)