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Thousands protest Israel in Jordan over killing

Friday - 3/14/2014, 12:20pm  ET

OMAR AKOUR
Associated Press

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- Protesters fought with riot police Friday outside of the Israeli Embassy in Jordan, as some 2,000 demonstrators called on the kingdom to end its peace treaty with the country over the killing of a Jordanian judge.

The death of Raed Zueter, a Jordanian magistrate of Palestinian descent, has caused an uproar in Jordan, triggering street protests and calls in parliament to annul the 1994 peace agreement with Israel. The Israeli military said that guards shot Zueter on Monday after he tried to grab a rifle from a soldier at the border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan.

Jordanian officials say Israel later apologized. Israel has shared the results of its preliminary investigation with Jordan, and agreed to a Jordanian request to establish a joint investigation into Zueter's killing.

Some of the protesters organized by Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood shoved against riot police lines Friday, trying to attack the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan's capital. Police officers carrying shields and batons chased some protesters in the streets. Demonstrators also burned an Israeli flag and carried a mock coffin for Zueter.

"We will not accept less than the annulment of the peace treaty and deportation the Israeli ambassador and to announce that Jews are enemies for our nation," Hammam Saeed, the general secretary of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, told The Associated Press. "We demand a strong reaction, not only useless talking."

About half of Jordan's population is Palestinian and public anger against Israel is common. However, Israel and Jordan, a key Middle East ally of the U.S., signed a peace deal in 1994 and maintain strong security ties.

In February, Jordan's parliament voted unanimously to expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own envoy after Israeli lawmakers debated a proposal to take over a Jerusalem holy site administered by Jordanians. However, the vote was not binding and the Cabinet has yet to take any action on the request.


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