Daily Israel Report

Jordanians Protest, Demand Security

In the latest "Arab Spring"-style protests in the Hashemite kingdom, demonstrators across the country call for security and safety.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/8/2013, 5:43 AM

Jordanian police
Jordanian police
AFP photo

Protest marches and sit-ins took place across Jordan on Friday, with demonstrators calling for security and safety in light of a recent wave of crime to hit the country, reports Al Arabiya.

The protesters highlighted the need for social reform, urging the government to fight against corruption in all its forms and to reject the surge in the price of commodities, the report said.

Hundreds of citizens protested in the city of Karak, south of the capital, and called on the government to revoke official decisions to raise the price of electricity and water, and the consequent increase in the prices of many goods and services.

The protesters warned that if the government does not backtrack on its policies, the demonstrations would lead to further aggravation on the economic and social level, according to Al Arabiya.

They called for the resignation of the government and the formation of a national salvation government with the participation of all political forces, one local newspaper reported.

They rejected any decision related to raising the price of electricity, water and bread, stressing on the need to verify the procedures for determining the fuel prices.

Radwan al-Nawaiseh, spokesman for the Arab People's Committees, told the newspaper that these scenes of protest in Jordan confirm that the Jordanians do not trust their government. He highlighted the significant decline in public freedoms which can lead to the deterioration of the citizens’ economic conditions.

The protests are nothing new, as Jordan has seen regular protests as a result of the Arab Spring that has toppled four regimes across the region. A combination of youths and Islamists have been demanding sweeping reforms, but King Abdullah has mostly been able to curtail the demonstrations, partially by curtailing his absolute powers.

The king has indicated that being in power was never for the sake of control and brings “no gain” for his ruling Hashemite family.

He said his goal was to stimulate reform away from “negative” political power struggle, in reference to the mass protests led by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Before the last election in January, Jordanians said they were skeptical that a new parliament would bring about the desired reforms. Those elections were boycotted by Islamists, the main opposition force, who ignored a call by the king to take part in them.