Jordan prince says he has been placed under house arrest

Ruben Hill
April 4, 2021

The army chief added that investigations are ongoing and that results will be revealed in "a transparent and clear manner", the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The news comes as a shock in the desert kingdom, a close regional ally of the USA often lauded for its stability in a crisis-ridden neighborhood.

Former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of King Abdullah II, claimed in a video statement obtained by the BBC that he has been put in isolation, his communication has been cut off, and has been told by the military that he shouldn't leave, suggesting he has been put under house arrest.

Abdullah stripped his half-brother Hamzah of his title as crown prince in 2004, saying he had chose to "free" him from the "constraints of the position" in order to allow him to take on other responsibilities.

A Jordanian royal source told the Washington Post that around 20 arrests have been made due to a "threat to the country's stability".

Major General Yousef Huneiti, chairman of Jordanian armed forces, said: "The investigations are continuing".

Huneiti affirmed that "no one is above the law and that Jordan's security and stability take precedence over any consideration".

"All the procedures were conducted within the framework of the law and after being required as a result of vigorous investigations", he said.

"The kingdom stresses its full support for the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. and for the decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Hussein to safeguard security and stability", it said.

Hajraf stressed that the security of Jordan is part of the GCC states' security.

The United States, which considers Jordan a critical ally and has partnered with the country for years on US -led counterterrorism operations, said that Abdullah had its "full support". "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support".

King Abdullah has ruled the country since the death of his father, King Hussein, in 1999. Since then, King Abdullah has been a top US ally, often allowing USA troops to stage operations from Jordanian territory and participating in the anti-Islamic State campaign. He has good relations officially with Abdullah, his half-brother, and is a popular figure close to tribal leaders.

Jordan is also home to more than two million Palestinian refugees, most of whom have Jordanian citizenship.

Hamzah is the son of the late King Hussein and his fourth wife, the US-born Queen Noor. Nevertheless, King Hussein insisted on putting Hamzah next in line to the throne after Abdullah.

Official news agency Petra named former close aides to the royal family Bassem Awadallah, chief of the royal court in 2007-2008, and Sherif Hassan bin Zaid among an unspecified number of suspects arrested.

The news comes at a precarious time for the monarch. Discontent has risen, with Jordanians increasingly angry over the government's handling of the pandemic and its inability to contain the economic devastation wreaked by strong lockdowns and weekend quarantines. He has cultivated strong ties with several USA administrations, but, in recent years, sparred with former president Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over proposed Israeli plans to annex the West Bank and bypass the Palestinians in a bid for Israeli normalization with the rest Arab world.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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