Jordanian military tells king's half-brother to halt actions related to country's stability

Katie Ramirez
April 4, 2021

The Washington Post said Jordanian authorities detained the former crown prince and arrested almost 20 other people after what officials called a "threat to the country's stability".

The head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Yousef Ahmed al-Hunaiti, denied reports that the former crown prince and King Abdullah's half-brother was under house arrest or detained.

Those arrested in the Saturday roundup included Sharif Hasan, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Awadullah, a former senior official in Jordan's Royal Hashemite Court who had also served as special Jordanian representative to the Saudi government.

Hamzah in his message, which he said he was sending via satellite phone, lashed out at Jordan's "ruling system" and said several of his friends had been arrested, his security detail removed and his internet and phone lines cut. At the time, he said he will remain devout support to Abdullah in official letter published by state media.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency said the kingdom's royal court supported King Abdullah's efforts "to maintain security and stability and defuse every attempt to influence them".

Egypt and Saudi Arabia also voiced the same support.

The alleged plot "included at least one other Jordanian royal as well as tribal leaders and members of the country's security establishment", the U.S. daily added.

Unfortunately this country has become stymied in corruption, in nepotism and in misrule, and the result has been the destruction or the loss of hope that is apparent in pretty much every Jordanian.

Abdullah has ruled Jordan since the 1999 death of of his father, King Hussein, who ruled the country for close to a half-century. "Our security and stability are not shaken".

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Unfortunately, this country has gone from one that was at the forefront of the region in terms of education and healthcare, in terms of human dignity and freedoms, to one in which even to criticise a small aspect of a policy leads to arrest and abuse by the security services.

Jordan would investigate whether there was a foreign hand in the plot, said the former USA official.

In a news conference on Sunday, Mr Safadi said Prince Hamzah had used the videos to distort facts and incite empathy, according to the state news agency, Petra.

Tribes who dominate the security and army form the bedrock of support for the kingdom's Hashemite monarchy.

"Ahmed Aboul Gheit added that King Abdullah II has a high and appreciated position, whether among the Jordanian people or on the Arab level in general, and that everyone knows his sincerity and his great role in serving Arab causes".

Prince Hamzah is the oldest son of the late King Hussein and his American-born wife Queen Noor, and is King Abdullah's half-brother.

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.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, a political and economic union of Arab states bordering the Gulf, has also expressed its support, as did Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Despite having little oil wealth and severely lacking water, the kingdom has managed to survive repeated wars in the region which have sent waves of refugees across its borders.

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