Tuesday, Jan. 13
AMMAN (AFP) — Hundreds of Jordanians demanded Tuesday that Egypt open its Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip in a protest against Israel's war in the Palestinian territory.
Holding Jordanian and Palestinian flags as well as pictures of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, around 400 people took part in the demonstration outside Cairo's embassy in Amman amid tight security.
They vented their anger against Egypt and its President Hosni Mubarak, bearing banners that read: "Egypt's (truce) Initiative + Closure of Rafah Crossing = Zionist Massacres" and "Mubarak is Behind Gaza's Bloodshed."
Chanting "Mubarak is mean" and Palestinian president Mahmud "Abbas is mean," some demonstrators set ablaze pictures of the Egyptian leader.
"The Egyptian regime should open the Rafah crossing to aid our people in Gaza," Zaki Bani Rsheid of the powerful opposition Islamic Action Front told AFP.
"Are 1,000 Palestinian martyrs not enough to kick the Israeli ambassadors out of Amman and Cairo?"
Egypt shares the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, the only one to bypass Israel and which has been opened only sporadically since the Islamist movement Hamas seized power there in June 2007.
Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab countries which have made peace with the Jewish state.
The overall death toll from the conflict on the Palestinian side has risen to at least 940, including 280 children. A further 4,350 people have been wounded, according to Palestinian emergency services.