Jordan 'foils coup attempt involving royal family members, senior

Marco Green
Апреля 4, 2021

But the prince had been "asked to stop some activities that could be used to shake the stability and security of Jordan", he said.

Middle East media reported that Jordanian officials were due to brief the media on the arrests later Saturday.

However, Hamzah released two videos shortly after contradicting the army's statement.

"If things spin out of control it will be hard for Israel to contribute to helping that, especially since Israel has not managed its bilateral relations with Jordan very well and has, in fact, added completely unnecessary tensions", said Asher Susser, a senior fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies.

He said that a number of his friends had been arrested, his security had removed and his internet and phone lines had been cut.

In the statement, Hamzah said he had been informed he was being punished for taking in part in meetings in which the king had been criticised, though he himself was not accused of being a direct critic.

"I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse ... and I am not responsible for the lack of faith people have in their institutions", he said.

Huneiti said that investigations are underway, affirming that the disclosure of the results will be made in a clear and transparent manner.

Palace officials said at least one other member of the royal family, plus tribal leaders and security officials, were involved in the plot, the Washington Post reports.

Among those arrested is Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, Jordan's former royal envoy to Saudi Arabia.

Awadallah, a former finance and planning minister educated in the USA, was close to the king but has also been a controversial figure in Jordan.

It gave no further details and said an investigation was under way.

Arrests of top officials and royal family members are rare in Jordan, seen as one of the Arab world's most stable countries.

Arrests of top officials and royal family members are rare in Jordan, a key western ally that has proven a vital partner to the United States particularly in its fight against terror groups in neighbouring Syria.

Abdullah succeeded his father King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for almost five decades. The king has cultivated close relations with US and other Western leaders over the years, and Jordan was a key ally in the war against the Islamic State group. The country borders Israel, the occupied West Bank, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Jordan's economy has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pro-U.S. Gulf Arab countries, which have many Jordanians working across public sector jobs, also immediately issued statements backing the king and his government.

Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994.

Abdullah and the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, are believed to have had a sometimes tense relationship over Saudi gestures toward Israel in recent years.

Stability in Jordan and the status of the king have always been matters of concern throughout the region, particularly during the Trump administration, which gave unprecedented support to Israel and sought to isolate the Palestinians, including by slashing funding for Palestinian refugees.

The swift show of support, even as Abdullah placed Prince Hamzah under house arrest, underscored Jordan's strategic importance as an island of relative stability in the turbulent region.

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