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The Jordanians fear a further blow after high-level arrests




In a televised news conference, he said extensive investigations conducted by Jordanian security forces concluded that Hamzeh, along with Sharif Hasan, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Awadullah, a former senior court official royal and special envoy of Jordan to the Saudi Government, was engaged in activities that constituted “promotion of the uprising.”

They included cultivating relations with members of the Jordanian opposition abroad as well as testimony of a person with foreign connections providing services to Hamzeh’s wife, including the immediate use of a private jet to leave Jordan.

Safadi said King Abdullah tried to resolve the issue through a request from the joint chiefs of staff, but that Hamzeh refused to cooperate.

The government proposed that cases be referred to state security courts, though it also announced that Abdullah would first discuss the matter directly with the prince, under house arrest at his Amman palace on Saturday, to deal with the issue “within the framework of the family, “Safadi said.

In a clear message that no dissent or criticism against the king will be tolerated, the head of the Jordanian parliament, Faysal al-Fayez, said earlier in the day that “the king is a red line” and the country will stand against ‘every hand treacherous trembling that seeks to snatch security and stability. “

But the monarch is in danger of being put against the well-known Hamzeh, whose hashtag on Twitter has been in trend since Saturday and his American-born mother, Queen Noor.

Pray that truth and justice prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander. God bless them and keep them safe, Noor wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Yasser Majali, Hamzehs chief of staff; Sheikh Sameer Majali; and several other senior members of the influential Majali tribe who serve in prominent positions in government and the military were also arrested on Saturday.

In a statement issued Sunday, the Majali tribe described the arrests as illegal and the event as a black day in Jordan’s history.

Hamzeh, 41, the kings’ half-brother, served as Jordan’s crown prince for four years until 2004, when the title passed to Abdullah’s eldest son, Hussein.

Hamzeh has held numerous positions within the monarchy and holds the rank of brigadier general. He is very popular in Amman and, with his ornate mustache and brown shirt, is often compared to his father, the late King Hussein.

On Saturday evening, Major General Yousef Huneiti, the Jordanian army chief of staff, issued a statement saying Hamzeh had not been detained but was asked to stop the movements and activities that were being used to target the security and stability of Jordan, adding that all proceedings were conducted within the framework of the law and after extensive investigations.

Hours later, Hamzeh sent a video to the BBC in which he said he was banned from communicating with people or using Twitter after being told he had attended meetings in which the king was criticized. The video accused the government of corruption, incompetence and intolerance of dissent and was seen as a harsh criticism of the monarch although Abdullah was not mentioned by name.

“I am not responsible for the breakdown of government, corruption and incompetence that has prevailed in our governing structure for the last 15-20 years and has worsened and I am not responsible for the lack of trust that people have in their institutions,” Hamzeh said in the video. . It has reached a point where no one is able to speak or express an opinion about anything without being harassed, arrested, harassed and threatened.

Amid rumors of foreign involvement in the alleged plot, Jordanian neighbors were quick to express support for the monarch.

The Kingdom affirms its full support, with all its capabilities, for all decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah and His Highness Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince, to maintain security and stability, the court said Saudi royal in a statement.

Emirates official Anwar Gargash said on Twitter that Jordan’s stability was a priority for the region and that the country’s wise policy to build bridges in a troubled region was not an easy choice but was and remains the necessary direction.

The United States, which considers Jordan a critical ally and has partnered with the country for years in US-led counterterrorism operations, said Abdullah had his full support.

Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Morocco and other regional governments also quickly expressed support for Abdullah in what was seen in part as evidence of Jordan’s strategic importance in the region.

A strong and thriving Jordan is an Israeli interest in security and the economy and we must do everything we can to help them, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement Sunday. As for internal developments there, this is an internal matter.

Jordan, which is under a nightmare linked to the coronavirus that will expire in mid-May, has been hit hard economically by the coronavirus pandemic as well as the aftermath of massive waves of refugees from neighboring Syria.

Last month, the Jordanian health minister resigned after seven fatal deaths due to a lack of oxygen supplies to government hospitals.

The next day, protesters opposed the curfew at night and took to the streets to call on the government to resign. O Hamza, son of Hussein, the place is lost, where are you? they sang, referring to the former crown prince.

For activists who have long protested against systemic corruption, this weekend’s events signaled more pressure ahead. What was whispered in closed circles is now open, said Daoud Kuttab, director of the Amman-based Community Media Network, who said low-level protests in the capital have been met with heavy retaliation in recent months. . The official media is completely silent and we know that history has much more that we are not seeing.

Abdullah has run the country since the deaths of his fathers in 1999. He has cultivated strong ties with several US administrations, but in recent years has joined President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on proposed Israeli plans for him. annexed the West Bank and bypassed the Palestinians in an effort to normalize Israeli ties with the rest of the Arab world.

If things get out of hand, it will be difficult for Israel to contribute to help it, especially since Israel has not managed its bilateral relations very well and has added completely unnecessary tensions, said Asher Susser, a senior colleague at The Dayan Age Center for Middle East and African Studies at Tel Aviv University.

In Jordan, that news of the alleged coup has been made public through brief statements, and virtual silence from the local press has fueled speculation that the coup could be a cover story for another political maneuver, said Jordanian political analyst Amer Sabaileh.

There is a lot of confusion, but in Jordan everyone is demanding reform, not to overthrow the government. I do not see the elements for a plot, said Sabaileh. What we do know is that there are some mediocre people who are directing the show when it comes to politics and, after yesterday, the government is under even greater pressure to make itself seem credible.

Dadouch reported from Beirut and Luck from Aman.

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