World Bulletin / News Desk
More than 15,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered at a pro-Hamas rally in Jordan's capital on Friday, the largest such protest in Amman in years.
Most of the more than 7 million people in Jordan, a staunch U.S. ally, are of Palestinian origin - they or their parents having been expelled or fled to Jordan in the war that led to the 1948 establishment of Israel.
Politicians and analysts say Hamas's popularity also has soared among non-Palestinian Jordanians as a result of the group's determined fight against the Israeli invaders.
"In the coming phase, after negotiations failed, the only thing left is the flag of resistance which was behind the victory in Gaza," said Zaki Bani Rusheid, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.
In contrast to other Arab states, where the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned and its followers persecuted, Jordan has tolerated the group's presence.
Private and public institutions have rushed to raise donations for the Palestinians in Gaza, and Jordan's King Abdullah donated blood on Tuesday. Prayers have been held in mosques to commemorate those killed in Gaza.
Jordan, which along with Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel, this week rejected calls by demonstrators, opposition parties and some mainstream politicians to expel Israel's ambassador and severe ties, saying it would be a counter-productive move.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said Jordan was using its diplomatic leverage with Israel to facilitate the flow of large supplies of humanitarian aid, turning it into the main aid conduit to Gaza via Israel.
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"Iran... as always expresses its readiness to assist and cooperate with other countries to confront these criminals, who deal death and ignorantly spread hate," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said.
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