AMMAN, Jordan — Thousands of protesters in Jordan, Israel’s eastern neighbor, marched toward the border on Friday morning, chanting slogans in solidarity with the Palestinians and waving Palestinian flags as Jordanian riot police surrounded them.
“We are here. Either we go down, or they will have to carry us back,” they chanted, videos posted to social media showed. “To Palestine, to Palestine. We are going to Palestine. We are going in millions as martyrs to Palestine.”
Arriving in buses and cars, the protesters called on Jordan’s government to open the border, where it has stepped up security in recent days amid the growing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Before the protesters could reach the demarcation line, however, the riot police blocked their path, social media videos and photos at the scene showed.
Jordanians have been protesting near the Israeli Embassy in Amman for several days, some of the largest expressions of solidarity for the Palestinians in a region that has otherwise reacted mildly if at all to the outbreak of violence. Protesters have called on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador.
Jordan’s 1994 treaty normalizing relations with Israel produced a chilly-at-best peace between the two countries, and the latest conflict has strained it further. This week, Jordan summoned the Israeli chargé d’affaires in Amman to condemn Israeli “attacks on worshipers” around the Aqsa Mosque compound in the walled Old City of Jerusalem, which played a major role in setting off the current conflict.