Jordan defers to Islamists, allows ‘March to Jerusalem’ (WORLD TRIBUNE) AMMAN 03/29/12)
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AMMAN — Jordan, under strong pressure from the Islamist opposition
and its foreign backers has allowed a scheduled march by up to one
million Muslims to Israel.
Officials said the Hashemite kingdom has relayed formal approval for
so-called “Global March to Jerusalem” on March 30. The procession,
by Hamas and Hizbullah, would begin in the Jordan Valley and then
across the river into the West Bank and toward Jerusalem.
“There will be a heavy presence to ensure calm,” Jordanian
security spokesman Lt. Col. Mohammed Khatib said.
The Jordanian approval came in wake of heavy pressure by Israel to
block the march. Officials said Israeli security agencies provided
evidence that march organizers aimed to enter the West Bank and clash
with Jewish residents.
“This will be a peaceful rally in support of Jerusalem, not a call to
storm Jerusalem,” Khatem Ayesh, a march organizer for the Muslim
Brotherhood, said. “We are taking every precaution possible and are
coordinating with concerned authorities to make sure our call for the
end to the occupation is a peaceful call.”
Officials said Jordanian authorities rejected the Israeli request to
cancel the march. They said Jordanian security forces would be
prepared to stop the Islamists from reaching the Jordan River, and
some 10 kilometers
from the nearest bridge to the West Bank. In November 2011, Jordanian
security forces prevented thousands of Islamists from reaching the
“We cannot prevent things that are peaceful, non-violent and do not
threaten the security of the kingdom,” Jordanian Communications
Rakan Majali said.
The Islamist march was also planning to cross into Israel from Egypt,
Lebanon and Syria. Similar efforts in 2011 led to the death of more
marchers, many of them Palestinians from nearby refugee camps.
(Copyright © 2012 East West Services, Inc. 03/29/12)
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