Tens of thousands in Jordan celebrate 'Gaza victory'

AFP
Jordanian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood set fire to a mock Israeli tank during a protest to celebrate the "Gaza victory" in the war against Israel, in the capital Amman on August 8, 2014
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Jordanian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood set fire to a mock Israeli tank during a protest to celebrate the "Gaza victory" in the war against Israel, in the capital Amman on August 8, 2014 (AFP Photo/Khalil Mazraawi )

Amman (AFP) - Tens of thousands of Jordanians celebrated on Friday the "Gaza victory" in the war against Israel, at a rally organised by the Islamist opposition.

Muslim Brotherhood chief Hammam Said said that around half a million people attended the rally in Tabarbur, east of the Jordanian capital, while a security official put the number at more than 100,000.

Demonstrators waved Palestinian and Jordanian flags as well as the colours of Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian rulers of Hamas, who have been locked in a month-long deadly showdown with Israel.

They also held up signs that read: "Gaza victory" and "There is no option but the resistance" in reference to Hamas's confrontation with Israeli forces, and urged Arab rulers to "liberate Palestine".

The demonstrators also chanted slogans of support for Hamas's military wing, the Ezzeddine al-Qassam Brigades, with the Brotherhood chief lauding the fighters, an AFP correspondent said.

"O heroes of Qassam... may God praise you," said Said, paying tribute to the militants for firing rockets at Israel and its troops.

"You are victorious in the negotiations and you were victorious in the battles," he said, in reference to talks mediated by Egypt for a lasting ceasefire in Gaza.

During the rally masked men wearing military fatigues like those of the Qassam Brigades marched holding up mock rockets.

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to stop rocket attacks on its territory and nine days later expanded it to destroy a network of tunnels used by militants to infiltrate the Jewish state.

More than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli offensive while 67 people, mostly soldiers died on the Israeli side.

Israel and the Palestinians observed a 72-hour ceasefire from Tuesday but hostilities resumed again after it expired at 0500 Friday.

Palestinian militants breached the quiet by firing rockets into Israel and Israeli warplanes retaliated by pounding targets across Gaza.

Egypt is mediating between Israelis and Palestinians and insists negotiations were making progress but Israel has recalled its delegation and warned it would not negotiate under fire.

Hundreds of people also marched to the Jordanian prime minister's office on Friday in a demonstration organised by leftist parties and trade unions to denounce the Israeli offensive on Gaza.