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Jordanians demand closure of US embassy in Amman

Jordanians demand closure of US embassy in Amman
From Al Jazeera - December 7, 2017

Hundreds of Jordanians have demonstrated in front of the US embassy in Amman, demanding its closure and the expulsion of the US charge d'affaires from Jordan in response to President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

President Donald Trump issued a statement on Wednesday proclaiming the US decision and preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Jordanian parliamentary political blocs, Islamist movements and independents had called for protests on Thursday and Friday across Jordanian cities and in front of the US embassy in Amman in protest of the US decision.

The US embassy in Amman issued a statement on Thursday suspending public services and limiting the public movement of its staff.

The protesters, who braved cold weather and a heavy police presence, came from diverse political backgrounds and comprised Jordanian nationalists, pan-Arabists, Islamists and leftists.

They chanted "America is the head of the snake" and "No US embassy on Jordanian lands" and "No US bases on Jordanian lands".

Jordanian police fired tear gas at protesters and tried to disperse them. Protesters remained in front of the US embassy all afternoon and evening.

Many of the protesters at the US embassy and elsewhere in Jordan said their anger was driven by Jordanian nationalist feelings, fearing their country was next on the US and Israeli agendas, and by Arab nationalism and Islamist sentiments because of Jerusalem's significance for them.

Sheikh Mohamad al-Hadid, a well-known political activistwho participated in the protest, told Al Jazeera that Jordanians fear that Trump's decision is part of a larger US-Israeli plan to end the Palestinian cause at the expense of Jordan and its royal family.

"The Americans and the Israelis are trying to create a political environment in the region to make Jordan as the future homeland of the Palestinians, while Palestine is swallowed whole by the Israelis," Sheikh al-Hadid said.

He said Jerusalem is a "fateful cause for Muslims all over the world".

Demographic fears

Jordan, a major segment of whose population is of Palestinian origin, stands to suffer the consequences of any future political settlement with Israel that does not consider Jordanian interests or address its demographic fears, according to Jordanian analysts and activists.

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