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Israel-Palestine war: Jordanians try to storm Israeli embassy after Gaza hospital strike

Protesters forced back by security forces before entering the building, sources say
Jordanian protesters face off against security forces after being cleared from the Israeli embassy (MEE/Mohammad Ersan)
Jordanian protesters face off against security forces after being cleared from the Israeli embassy (MEE/Mohammad Ersan)
By Mohammad Ersan in Amman

Scores of Jordanian protesters attempted to storm the Israeli embassy in Amman after a reported Israeli strike on a hospital in the Gaza Strip killed at least 500 people.

A Jordanian security source denied rumours that the protesters had managed to storm the embassy, and told Middle East Eye that the protesters had been dealt with and removed from the surroundings.

Anas Mahmoud, an eyewitness, told MEE: "A group managed to reach the checkpoint near the embassy, ​​which is 200 metres away. Then, the public security officers arrived and dispersed them using tear gas.”

“The demonstrators retreated to the vicinity of the Kaloti Mosque, about 1km away from the Israeli embassy," he added.

Another witness, Mohammad Othman, said: “Security forces arrested dozens of protesters. The protesters went out spontaneously, without any organisation from a specific party. This was a response to the Israeli massacres.”

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Scores of protesters remained on the streets of Amman after being cleared from the area near the embassy, repeatedly trying to reach the building and chanting for the expulsion of the ambassador and the embassy's closure.

Earlier, the Gaza health ministry said an Israeli strike had hit al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. Video footage of the aftermath showed bodies littered on the ground.

Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Wael al-Dahdouh said he saw “body parts and dismembered corpses of children and women, young and old”.

Israel denied responsibility, claiming a rocket belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad failed to launch properly and hit the hospital.

Jordan's King Abdullah II, however, blamed Israel and described the incident as a "massacre" and "war crime".

The Jordanian government declared three days of mourning for those killed in the hospital strike.

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Israel has been waging a ferocious bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip since 7 October, when hundreds of Palestinian fighters attacked Israeli communities near the coastal enclave.

Around 1,400 Israelis were killed in the Palestinian attack, with more than 3,000 Palestinians killed in the subsequent bombing in response to the Hamas-led attack.

Protests also broke out in cities across the Middle East and North Africa following the air strike on the hospital.

In the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian Authority security forces used live fire to disperse protesters.

Local media reported hundreds of people rallying after the bombing in Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, Tulkarm, Tubas, and other cities. 

Protesters marched towards local Palestinian Authority headquarters, demanding more action to confront Israel and support the Gaza Strip.

Demonstrations were also held in Istanbul, Beirut, Baghdad, and Syria’s Idlib.

Scores of Jordanians protest in Amman after the strike on a Gaza hospital (MEE/Mohammad Ersan)
Scores of Jordanians protest in Amman after the air strike on a Gaza hospital (MEE/Mohammad Ersan)

Earlier on Tuesday, hundreds of people marched to Amman's main government building, condemning Wednesday's planned visit of US President Joe Biden.

They also demanded the cancellation of the agreement to tax natural gas from Israel, which Jordan signed in 2016.

Secretary General of the Islamic Action Front Party Murad al-Adaileh, a member of the National Forum that organised the march, told MEE: “We will hold a sit-in tomorrow, Wednesday, to preach the Maghrib prayer in front of the American embassy in Jordan in rejection of America’s support for the Israeli occupation”.

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