Hundreds of Jordanians burned Israeli and US flags in Amman on Friday and called
for the cancellation of the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty.
sentiment surfaced following Friday prayers during a demonstration against the
newly sworn-in government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Tarawneh.
King Abdullah swore in the government, dominated by conservatives, on Wednesday
and tasked it with preparing parliamentary elections expected later this
Islamists and youth activists said the march came in response to
remarks by Tarawneh, who played a key role in the Israeli-Jordanian peace
process, that if given a second chance, he would still support signing the
agreement, The Jordan Times reported.
“This treaty has only legitimized
Zionists’ illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and has opened the door to
official attempts to encourage other Arab and Muslim states to recognize
Israel,” the newspaper quoted Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Jamil Abu Baker as
saying on Thursday.
Protesters on Friday also called for comprehensive
reform and an elected government rather than an appointed
Tarawneh’s government was installed after the surprise
resignation last week of his predecessor, Awn Khasawneh, a former judge on the
International Court of Justice, in a move politicians attributed to a power
struggle with the security services.
During his six months in office,
Khasawneh tried to persuade the Islamist opposition to drop its boycott of
elections, which they say are unfair because the rules favor rural Beduin areas
over Islamists’ urban, predominantly Palestinian, strongholds.
departure makes it less likely the Islamists will come in from the cold,
Abdullah appointed Tarawneh, a US-educated politician who
has previously held several senior government posts, on Thursday and asked him
to speed up political reforms that the monarch said Khasawneh had dragged his
Politicians say Khasawneh had been entangled in a struggle over
prerogatives with the intelligence services, or mukhabarat. The powerful
mukhabarat was said to be unhappy with Khasawneh’s handling of a major
anti-corruption campaign that resulted in many judicial probes against senior
Khasawneh also proposed electoral reform that drew fire from
many sides. Beduin lawmakers felt it favored Islamists, while some Islamists
were unhappy because its proposed party list system might have curbed the number
of seats they could win.
Reuters contributed to this report.