Dozens of activists converged near the Egyptian embassy in Amman on Sunday to protest Egypt’s plan to construct a steel wall to prevent smuggling into Gaza through tunnels.
Activists shouted anti-Egyptian government slogans and accused the Egyptian government of "selling out" to Israeli and American interests.
They held banners in support of Hamas and signs urging Egypt to stop building the wall, calling for popular pressure on Cairo to end its "siege" on the coastal enclave.
“Stop building the wall of shame,” read one poster.
The protesters attempted to reach the embassy building but were unable to approach it after security forces cordoned off the area.
No clashes took place between demonstrators and police forces, as the two sides kept a safe distance from each other, but eyewitnesses claimed that police arrested at least three activists ahead of the sit-in.
Leading activists who addressed the crowd promised to work for the release of the three men. Spokesperson for the Public Security Department Major Mohammad Khatib said one person was arrested, Badi Rafaiah, head of the Anti-Normalization Committee at the professional associations. The officer said the latter was freed less than one hour after the arrest, which, he said, was based on violations to the Public Assembly Law.
The area near the Egyptian embassy in Amman has become a familiar location for protest after Israel launched its military offensive against Gaza over a year ago.
Protesters accuse Egypt of “playing into the hands of Israel” by exerting pressure on Hamas and the Palestinians in Gaza.
Activists said Egypt must act within its moral obligation to the Arab and Muslim worlds by helping Gazans cope with their situation.
“Egypt should provide help to Gazans, not rub salt in their wounds,” said protester Abdullah, holding a banner that read: “Together in resistance until victory”.
Top Islamist figures and activists from the 14 professional associations were among the protesters, as well as university students.
The construction of the steel wall could block tunnels through which goods and weapons are smuggled into the blockaded Palestinian enclave.
Egyptian officials have said steel tubes were being placed in the ground at several points along the 14-kilometre-long border, but they did not specify their purpose.
Dozens of tunnels operate across the border in defiance of a three-year-old Israeli-led blockade of the territory ruled by Hamas Islamists who are opposed to peace with Israel.
Citing an unnamed Egyptian intelligence source, Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot said the wall would run as deep as 30 meters and would be rigged with sensors and pressurized hoses to flood tunnels with seawater.