Photo: Yaron Brenner
Spontaneous demonstrations in Amman
Photo: Yaron Brenner
Photo: Yaron Brenner
Hyatt hotel. Tight security
Photo: Yaron Brenner
Photo: Yaron Brenner
'Certain the government knows who did it.' Amman
Photo: Yaron Brenner
Photo: Yaron Brenner
'City filled with sorrow'
Photo: Yaron Brenner

Day after: 'United behind King Abdullah'

Day after terror attacks, dozens of Amman residents gather in city streets, raising Jordanian flags, pictures of King Abdullah; among sorrow, some hint to Israeli, American involvement in bombings; king cancels planned visit to Israel

(Video) A day after the Amman terror attacks, the Jordanian capital was crowded with people. Thousands of people wearing kaffiyah headdresses raised Jordanian flags Thursday. The air was filled with a lot of rage and a feeling of unity and partnership.


Scenes from Amman  (Video: Yaron Brenner) 


The bombing may have caused tourists to flee from the kingdom, but it seemed that all Jordanians had gathered together under the Hashemite flag and the picture of King Abdullah.


One of the youths gathered in the city streets said he is raising the Jordanian flag in order to say that Jordan is in his heart.


"The city is filled with sorrow because we have lost many people in these acts of terror. We are all crying," he added.


The terrible traffic jams due to the dozens of spontaneous demonstrations and processions did not anger the Jordanian police officers. Many young people were busy attaching pictures of the king on shops, private houses and cars. Everyone was busy hanging Jordanian flags everywhere, and a slogan condemning the attacks could be seen on every balcony.


'We hope to recover very quickly'


In Amman's prestigious Rabieh neighborhood, dozens of security people and police officers surrounded the Days Inn hotel, which was hit in the attack. Some of them were still busy searching for evidence and findings from the attack. Simultaneously, dozens of workers were busy cleaning the hotel walls and the streets.


The suicide bomber blew himself up near the hotel entrance, just as the Chinese delegation was passing by. Three of the delegation members were killed.


The hotel manager, Khaled Abu-Gosh, stood near the hotel's reception desk, feeling very sad.


"We hope to recover very quickly from this hard blow," he said.


According to Abu Gosh, Wednesday's attack shocked and overwhelmed the Jordanians.


"It was a very surprising and difficult event, which will take our economy months to recover from. Eighty percent of the hotel guests have left," he said.


"I call on all tourists to return, because all in all, the security situation in Jordan is good and the security forces are doing an excellent job," he added.


Abu-Gosh noted that many of the hotel's guests were Israeli-Arabs.


King cancels Israel visit


Along the entire way from the Days Inn hotel to the Hyatt hotel, residents gathered and sang patriotic songs, traditional songs and songs in honor of the Hashemite kingdom and the royal family.


Thousands of vehicles passed, carrying Jordanian flags, young people and old people, women and men – all raising flags and pictures of the king.


The king himself, by the way, cancelled his planned visit to Israel on Monday following the terror attacks. Abdullah was invited by the Rabin Center to take part in the ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination.


Dozens of processions with flags and pictures  (Photo: Yaron Brenner) 


Many security people were positioned around the Hyatt hotel. A Palestinian source told Ynet that shortly before the bombing, a security meeting had ended in the hotel.


One of the meeting participants, Bashir Nafa, the Palestinian West Bank intelligence chief, was killed in the explosion. The source added that the attack occurred only moments after a senior Saudi officer had left the hotel.


'Islam is a very nice religion'


Near the hotel, three young people demonstrated. Muaz, Muhammad and Abdullah also wore a kaffiyah and raised a big flag.


"I came to support my country, to express the feeling that we hate these attacks, and that all of us Jordanians work hand in hand," Muaz said.


Abdullah said that all Jordanians believe that these acts are acts of terror.


"We are certain that the government knows who did this and will catch them. All the people here have come to say that we are by the king's side throughout the way, that we Jordanians want peace and oppose violence. We are one people, united and unified behind King Abdullah," he said.


And Muhammad explained that the terrorists intended on shocking the state's security and that the meaning of Islam is not to blow up bombs and kill people.


"Islam is a very nice religion," he said.


One of Muhammad's friends was wounded in the Days Inn attack. However, he said, his situation had improved in the past few hours.


Maybe Israel and the Americans did it?


In a mosque not far from the Hyatt hotel, two youths prepared themselves for the afternoon prayers. They did not seem particularly excited by the journalists who approached them asking for interviews. They looked sad, and from the short exchange of words I had with them, I felt it was difficult for them to openly condemn the attacks.


One of them said: “Violence against innocent people is painful and shameful. Yet young Muslims are full of frustration and anger at American involvement in Iraq and Palestine, where they support Israel. This is a way to release their frustration.”


How can the Americans be responsible for an attack on a wedding party where children and 16 members of the same family were killed? I asked.


“People died and it is a shame. Inshallah, God will consider them shahids (martyrs). Yet these young people did not mean to kill innocent people and certainly not Muslims. It may be that Israel and the Americans are behind this,” one of the worshipers said.


Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has already claimed responsibility for the attacks in the name of al-Qaeda, I said.


“So he did, yet we need to wait and see. It’s important that the Americans know that as long as they are here there will be no calm, and next time, unlike this time, American citizens will die because of their government,” they added.


פרסום ראשון: 11.10.05, 22:00
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