Thousands of Jordanians protest killing of teenager in embassy, chant ‘Death to Israel

Thousands of Jordanians protest killing of teenager in embassy, chant 'Death to Israel'
Thousands of Jordanians joined the funeral procession of a teenager shot dead by an Israeli security guard during a standoff at the Israeli embassy. The mourners have demanded authorities close the embassy and tear up Jordan’s peace treaty with Tel Aviv.

The people who joined the procession chanted, “No to an Israeli embassy or ambassador on Jordanian land” and “Death to Israel” as they accompanied the coffin of the killed teenager from his home city of the city of Wihdat, east of the Jordanian capital of Amman, where a large Palestinian refugee camp is situated.

The mourners were carrying pictures of the dead teenager, identified as Mohammed Jawawdeh, 17, as well as Palestinian and Jordanian flags. They also called for a “jihad” against Israel, Reuters reports.

“We will go to Jerusalem as martyrs by the millions,” people chanted, according to AFP. Jawawdeh’s uncle also appealed to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, asking him to avenge the teenager’s death.

Jawawdeh was killed in a shooting incident at the Israeli embassy in Amman on Sunday. The teenager, who worked for a furniture firm, got involved in a scuffle with a security guard after he had entered the heavily fortified embassy compound to deliver an order.

The guard reportedly opened fire on Jawawdeh after the teenager attacked him.

Jawawdeh later succumbed to his injuries in a hospital alongside with another Jordanian, who was also injured in the incident and who the Israeli authorities say was struck by the Israeli guard “by accident.”

The Jordanian Public Security Directorate confirmed later Monday that the guard was indeed attacked by the youth but did not confirm Israel’s account that he used a screwdriver to stab the guard. It also treated the incident as a routine crime, rather than what Israel dubbed a “terrorist attack.” The teenager’s father denied that his son had any links to extremists.

On Tuesday, the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told a news conference that the authorities would continue the investigation until “the truth is reached and justice is done.”

Meanwhile, the guard, who shot the teenager, left for Israel together with the rest of the embassy staff, including the ambassador, Einat Schlein, after the investigators heard “his account of the incident” at the embassy.

Upon his return to Israel, the guard received a warm welcome from the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that the guard represented Israel and “acted well,” adding that “we had the responsibility to get you out, there was no question whatsoever.”

The move provoked further outrage in Jordan and some other Arab countries as people on social media expressed their anger at his release and the welcome he received at home.

One person wrote that the move was “a step that challenges the feelings of all Muslims.” Another stressed that while Netanyahu embraced “the killer,” the teen’s father was left to lament for his child.

Meanwhile, Jordan deployed riot police to the Israeli embassy on Tuesday amid social media calls for an anti-Israeli demonstration.

The incident took place as the tensions between Israel and Jordan were already running high following Israel’s decision to install metal detectors outside the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

The move led to violent clashes between the Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces that raged for several days in Jerusalem following the installation of the detectors at the Temple Mount in the Old City.

On Monday night, Israel agreed to remove the metal detectors, citing a “recommendation of security officials to replace the metal detectors with security inspection based on advanced technologies – smart inspection – and other means.”

Earlier, Jordan’s King Abdullah II urged Israeli PM Netanyahu to resolve the crisis.


Saudi Arabia set to behead 14 anti-govt protesters, including Michigan-bound student

Saudi Arabia set to behead 14 anti-govt protesters, including Michigan-bound student
Amnesty International has condemned a court decision which they say could see 14 men, including a student due to study in the US, beheaded for taking part in anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: When in Riyadh: Trump & Tillerson awkwardly join in Saudi sword dance (VIDEOS)

Mujtaba al-Suweyket and 13 other men have reportedly had their death sentences upheld by the Saudi Arabian Supreme Court for their part in demonstrations that took place between 2011 and 2012.

The protests were part of the Arab Spring upheaval and according to Amnesty International the men were found guilty in July 2016 on charges of “armed rebellion against the ruler,” “inciting chaos,” “using Molotov cocktail bombs,” and “shooting at security personnel.”

The men have now had their sentences upheld and could be executed if their death warrants are approved by the state.

“By confirming these sentences Saudi Arabia’s authorities have displayed their ruthless commitment to the use of the death penalty as a weapon to crush dissent and neutralize political opponents,” said Samah Hadid, of Amnesty International’s Middle East group.

King Salman’s signature is now all that stands between them and their execution. He must immediately quash these campaigns which are a result of a sham court proceedings that brazenly flout international fair trial standards.”

Al-Suweyket was just 17 at the time of his arrest and had been accepted as a student by Western Michigan University prior to his detention.

Earlier this year, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) called for US President Donald Trump to use his influence to secure a reprieve for the student.

READ MORE: Video of woman wearing miniskirt in Saudi Arabia prompts heated debate

Saudi Arabia’s threat to behead its own citizens for attending an anti-government protest is an unthinkable and despicable violation of international law and basic humanity,” an AFP statement read.

Should these executions occur, Saudi Arabia should be considered a pariah nation by the world. We implore President Trump, as the standard-bearer for our great nation, to do everything in his power to stop the atrocities that may otherwise take place in Saudi Arabia.”

The 14 men are thought to be held in a facility in Riyadh following their transfer from the city of Dammam on July 15.

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