SHAFAQNA – Thousands of Jordanian protesters have taken to the streets to denounce the government’s plan to sign a multi-billion-dollar gas deal with Israel.
Members of various political groups as well as ordinary citizens took part at the major protest rally in the capital Amman on Friday.
The angry demonstrators called on the government not to sign the gas imports deal with Israel.
The protesters held placards reading that the gas deal will burn al-Aqsa mosque and that the deal amounts to treason to Islam and Muslims.
Activists and some political factions have also urged the government to cancel a peace deal with Tel Aviv.
Jordan is Israel’s second ally in the Arab world after Egypt. Amman signed a peace treaty with Tel Aviv in 1994 that made Jordan the custodian of Muslim holy sites in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Several protests have been held against the 15-billion-dollar deal over the past few weeks.
Amman claims that the agreement could help avert drastic problems such as daily power cuts or rising electricity bills.
Based on the yet-to-be finalized deal, Jordan would get 45 billion cubic meters of gas over a 15-year period.
The developments come as tension has risen between Israel and Jordan over recent Israeli incursions into al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.
Jordan has recently recalled its ambassador to Israel and moved to lodge a complaint at the United Nations in early December.
Israel closed the al-Aqsa Mosque to Muslim worshippers on October 30, after a 32-year-old Palestinian, Moataz Hejazi, was accused of making an attempt on the life of far-right Israeli rabbi Yehuda Glick on October 29. Hejazi was killed during an Israeli raid on his home in the Abu Tor neighborhood.
Tel Aviv then imposed restrictions on male worshippers, allowing only those over 50 into the holy site.
Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian national unity government, warned that the Israeli move amounted to a “declaration of war.”