RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Palestinian group Hamas on Saturday welcomed Jordanian opposition to Israeli participation in the Baja Rally hosted by Jordan.
The Jordanian position against Israel taking part in the country’s Baja Rally, “which sees the participation of a number of Zionist athletes, expresses the deep-rooted authenticity of the Jordanian people,” Maher Salah, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said in a statement.
This opposition is “completely consistent” with historical Arab positions and is a “testament of the depth of the Jordanian people’s belonging to their Arab and Islamic nation,” he added.
The global event, which will feature car and bike races, kicked off on Thursday in the southern city of Aqaba. Thirteen Israelis are among nationalities taking part in the race, according to the Jordanian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The news prompted Jordanians to vent their anger on social media platforms, amid calls for halting the event.
In a statement, the BDS said “the involvement of the players of the Zionist entity” should be stopped, calling on the authorities “to abide by the overwhelming desire of the street to boycott the occupation.”
Jordan controversially normalized its relations with Israel in 1994, becoming the second Arab country to establish diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv after Egypt in 1979.
In 2020, four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco – followed suit, in what Palestinians considered a stab in the back.