Restaurant called October 7 opens in Jordan, appearing to fete Hamas’s massacre

Offensive naming of shawarma joint follows recall of Amman’s envoy to Israel in wake of war in Gaza; owner says name unrelated to politics, but eatery’s social media suggests it is

A restaurant named 'October 7,' apparently celebrating Hamas's massacre in southern Israel, in the Southern Mazar district, south of the city of Kerak, Jordan, in a clip posted on January 24, 2024. (Screenshot: X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A restaurant named 'October 7,' apparently celebrating Hamas's massacre in southern Israel, in the Southern Mazar district, south of the city of Kerak, Jordan, in a clip posted on January 24, 2024. (Screenshot: X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A new restaurant in Jordan is named “October 7,” apparently celebrating Palestinian terror group Hamas’s massacre of 1,200 people in a brutal rampage through southern Israel on that day.

The shawarma joint has been opened in the Southern Mazar district, south of the city of Kerak near the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, according to a video posted on social media.

The clip was published approvingly Wednesday evening on X by Dima Tahboub, a former member of parliament, writer, political analyst and a member of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, a conservative Islamist organization.

Tahboub has previously courted controversy for praising a Jordanian soldier who carried out the 1997 Island of Peace massacre in which seven Israeli schoolgirls were murdered and six others injured.

In the two-minute video, an unidentified man films the customer-packed restaurant from outside, as well as its surroundings, and then goes into the eatery, where customers and employees with “October 7” robes greet him while he congratulates the staff on the new name.

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid reacted angrily, demanding condemnation from Jordanian leaders.

“The disgraceful glorification of October 7th has to stop. The incitement and hatred against Israel breeds the terrorism and extremism which led to the brutal massacre of October 7th,” Lapid tweeted in English. “We expect the Jordanian government to condemn this publicly and unequivocally.”

Israel’s Ynet news site reported Thursday afternoon that it had spoken on the phone with the owner of the restaurant, who said the name had been changed to just “October” and claimed that the name had not been meant as a political statement and was entirely unrelated to the Hamas onslaught.

“My daughter graduated from med school in Algeria on October 7,” the unidentified owner was quoted as saying. “We changed it because it was understood as political. The new name is just October, without 7. We have no connection to politics.”

However, Ynet said the eatery’s Facebook page casts doubt on the explanation, showing that it had previously existed under a different name and asked followers to suggest a new name, with a commenter being the one who suggested “October 7,” a suggestion that was accepted.

Jordan became in 1994 the second Arab state to make peace with Israel, after Egypt in 1979. Thousands of protesters have called for Amman to rescind its peace treaty with Israel because of the war against Hamas.

Two weeks into the war, Israel issued a warning against travel to Jordan and other Arab countries.

Jordan, whose population is believed to be at least 50 percent Palestinian, recalled its ambassador to Israel in early November, with Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi telling envoy Rasan al-Majali to return to Amman “as an expression of Jordan’s position of rejection and condemnation of the raging Israeli war on Gaza, which is killing innocent people and causing an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.”

Jordan also asked Israel’s Foreign Ministry to tell Ambassador Rogel Rachman, who was temporarily called back to Israel because of security threats in Jordan, not to return to Amman.

War erupted on October 7 when Hamas terrorists broke through the border with Gaza and rampaged through southern Israeli communities, slaughtering more some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping 253 others, under the cover of a deluge of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.

The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians — including babies, children and the elderly. Entire families were executed in their homes, and over 360 people were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality, torture and sexual violence by the terrorists.

Israel has responded with a massive offensive in the coastal enclave that it says is aimed at releasing the 136 remaining hostages and destroying Hamas’s infrastructure, and has vowed to eliminate the entire terror group, which rules the Strip. It says it is targeting all areas where Hamas operates while trying to minimize civilian casualties.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry has claimed that Israeli strikes have killed more than 25,000 people. However, the figures cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. Israel says it has killed over 9,000 Hamas members, as well as over 1,000 killed in Israel on the aftermath of the October 7 invasion.

Lazar Berman contributed to this report.

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