Jordan: Islamists gear up for large rally near Israel border

24 November, 14:05

(by Mohammad Ben Hussein) (ANSAmed) - AMMAN, NOVEMBER 24 - Preparations continue for a massive protest near the Israeli border to be held on Friday to lobby for support against Israeli settlement expansion in occupied Jerusalem, organizers said.

The Islamist movement, represented by its political arm, the Islamic Action Front (IAF) and a number of charity groups has mobilized its vast resources to bring tens of thousands to the sensitive border area for a rally.

Buses are expected to be ferried from refugee camps and towns with a large concentration of Palestinian refugees on Friday, as attention shifts from reform protests to the long saga of the Arab Israeli conflict.

Leaders from the Islamist movement told ANSAmed participants will gather in town of Sweimeh, 40 km west Amman near the borders with Israel.

They emphasised that they will not walk to Jordan river, a restricted military area that separates Jordan from Israel and the Palestinian territories.

"This is a stand of support to people in Jerusalem. Israel is doing all it can to change demographic balance in the holy city and evict Palestinians from their land," said Ali Abul Sukkar, president of the IAF shura council.

He said the rally is being hold in coordination with other opposition groups and social movements around the kingdom.

"We do not intend to reach the border. This is a political stance meant to pressure countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel to take an action over continued judaization policy in the holy city," he told ANSAmed.

The rally is organized to shed light on measures by Israel to build settlements in Jerusalem and evict Palestinian from the holy city, occupied by Israel after the 1967 war.

Palestinian officials and international groups say Israel's right wing government continues with its policy to expand settlement consternation in several parts of the disputed city, where the Palestinians want to have their capital in a future state.

The Palestinian authority is seeking international support to declare an independent state at the UN after leaders from the Ramallah based Palestinian authorities said they no longer trust in talks with the current Israeli government.

But their calls have been rebuffed by Washington and other western countries as unfeasible, and instead called for talks between the two sides.

The rally will be part of other demonstrations to be held in Egypt and Lebanon simultaneously, amid concern of security meltdown in case protesters decided to head to the borders.

In Jordan, government sources said security forces will be mobilized to the region for fear of attempts by some groups to head to the border area.

Earlier this year, Jordan's security forces attacked protesters as they marched towards the border, leaving dozens injured and other arrested.

Officials in Tell Aviv said they will be closely monitoring developments on all border areas.

Earlier this year, clashes took place near the borders with Syria and Lebanon after some protesters tried to reach the borders.

Jordan is the second country in the Arab world to make peace with Israel after Egypt and maintains a strong military presence on the border to prevent cross border attacks on Israel.


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