Jordanian police Sunday arrested 11 people, including trade union leaders, to break up a demonstration against fruit and vegetable imports from Israel, protest organizers said.
They were taken to the Shmeisani police station, in west of Amman, half an hour after they started their protest outside the ministry of agriculture, the sources and an AFP reporter said.
"We demand that the government bans imports of fruits and vegetables from the Zionist entity (Israel)," the 14 trade unions which organized the protest said in a joint statement.
Agriculture Minister Said Masri "should be sacked because he did not do anything to stop such imports and to protect national products," they added.
Anti-Israel rally in Amman (Photo: AP)
Police spokesman Mohammed Khatib told AFP the demonstration "was illegal because the organizers did not obtain a permit from the authorities." But he didn't confirm or deny that any arrests were made.
Masri, whose country signed a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, said Jordan "imports fruits that are unavailable in the kingdom."
"We have agreements with Israel, and it's up to the council of ministers to decide... not the agriculture ministry," he told the state-run Petra news agency.
Masri said, however, Jordan "rejects all products from Israel's (Jewish) settlements."
Jordan imported 1,930 metric tons of Israeli fruits and vegetables since the beginning of this year, according to Masri.