Fact Check: Protesters Did NOT Burn Down Israeli Embassy In Jordan

Fact Check

  • by: Jamal Halaby
Fact Check: Protesters Did NOT Burn Down Israeli Embassy In Jordan Still Intact

Did protesters burn down the Israeli Embassy in the Jordanian capital, Amman? No, that's not true: Lead Stories toured the vicinity of the embassy in Amman's middle-class al-Rabiyeh district on November 12, 2023, and found it to be intact. A Jordanian security official told Lead Stories that riot police set up barricades and fired tear gas, preventing hundreds of angry protesters from reaching the hilltop embassy compound the night of October 17, 2023.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) posted on TikTok on November 10, 2023. The headline (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff), read:

Urgent: Burning down the Israeli Embassy in Amman.

Another headline beamed the Muslim battle cry of "Allahu akbar," or "God is great."

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

IL Emb.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Nov 13 10:43:15 2023 UTC)

The seven-second video displayed blurry footage, showing protesters waving the Palestinian flag and shouting "Allahu akbar" as two small street fires are clearly seen. Some Hebrew language and four Palestinian flag emojis are overlaid on the screen. A similar video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, (archived here) on October 17, 2023, showed clearer footage with the same surroundings near al-Kalouthi Mosque in al-Rabiyeh, about one kilometer (.6 of a mile) away from the Israeli Embassy. Two small fires could be seen in the street as protesters evaded police tear gas.

Lead Stories took a tour of the area of the heavily fortified Israeli Embassy on November 12, 2023. Although from a distance, the embassy building looked intact. There was no sign of fires in the vicinity of the white limestone building on the hilltop, usually surrounded by Jordanian police barricades, troop carriers and other security vehicles.

A Jordanian security official, insisting on anonymity because he is not authorized to comment to the press, told Lead Stories on November 12, 2023, that hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters angry at Israeli bombardment on Gaza tried to break through Jordanian police lines and barricades the night of October 17, 2023, to reach the embassy. Riot police firing tear gas "stopped them hundreds of meters away." The official said the protesters set Israeli flags on fire and torched steel garbage bins in the street, but that the incident was hundreds of meters away from the embassy, whose staff had been evacuated earlier in October.

A Google news search performed by Lead Stories on November 12, 2023, using the words "Foreign Minister Eli Cohen orders Israeli embassy in Jordan evacuated," (archived here) yielded several stories on the evacuation of the Israeli diplomatic mission in Jordan, saying it happened at the onset of the latest Hamas-Israel conflict on October 7, 2023, although no closure notification was posted on the Israeli Embassy website. The Jewish News Syndicate, an English-language news wire service focusing on the Jewish world and Israel, said other Israeli embassies in the Middle East, such as in Egypt, Bahrain and Morocco, were also evacuated.

The Times of Israel reported on October 18, 2023, that there was an "attempt to storm" the embassy, but didn't say protesters did so nor referred to the mission being set ablaze.

The Jordan Public Security Directorate urged protesters for restraint in a popular radio talk show program on its Facebook page, called "Amen FM," Arabic for security FM, on October 19, 2023. It said burning state property does not serve the cause of Palestinians in Gaza.

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  Jamal Halaby

Jamal Halaby is a fact-checker, who has been working with Lead Stories for nearly two years, helping bring the truth and factual information to the organization's global audience. With extensive background in investigative journalism and content writing and editing in Arabic and English, Jamal uses that experience to expose a burgeoning market of misinformation and disinformation. Previously, he worked as a writer for the Associated Press and several other reputable international news organizations. He has a passion for empirical analysis and discerning the veracity of the news.

Read more about or contact Jamal Halaby

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