Jordan king, addressing family feud, says ‘sedition buried’

BEIRUT (AP) — Jordan’s king Abdullah II addressed the uncommon public rift inside the royal family for the primary time on Wednesday, saying the “sedition” that triggered him anger and ache has been buried, however main challenges loom for the Western-allied monarchy because it confronts rising inside dissent.

The assertion marked the primary time the king has addressed the inner disaster that erupted over the weekend when Prince Hamzah, his half-brother and former crown prince, was confined to his dwelling and accused of being a part of a plot to destabilize the dominion.

“The challenge of the last few days was not the hardest or the most dangerous to the stability of our nation, but it was the most painful because those who are party to the sedition were from our own home,” the king’s assertion mentioned.

“Nothing can come close to the shock and the pain and anger I felt, as a brother, and head of the Hashemite family, and as a leader to this dear people,” added the assertion, which was learn by a newsreader on Jordan TV.

He mentioned Prince Hamzah, who has not been seen or heard from in days, was “with his family at his palace, under my care.”

There isn’t any signal that authorities have launched as much as 18 different detainees, together with members of one of many highly effective tribes on which the monarchy has traditionally relied. Authorities have in the meantime imposed a sweeping gag order on any protection of the royal dispute in an indication of how delicate they’re to how it’s being perceived.

Jordan was already grappling with an financial disaster exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, with one in 4 individuals out of labor. Longstanding complaints about corruption and misrule have fueled scattered protests in latest months.

The area’s strategic panorama is shifting as highly effective Gulf states pursue nearer ties with Israel, doubtlessly undermining Jordan’s function within the Middle East peace course of.

“The dispute with Prince Hamzah shows that the kingdom can no longer use its international standing as a mediator in regional conflicts and bulwark of security for the West without addressing growing economic and political challenges at home,” mentioned Tuqa Nusairat, an skilled on the Atlantic Council.

“Jordanians have been consistently expressing concerns over the direction of the country, including publicly protesting,” she added.

The disaster within the royal family erupted Saturday when Jordan’s army chief of workers visited Prince Hamzah and warned him to cease attending conferences with critics of the federal government. Things rapidly escalated, with Hamzah accusing the safety institution of threatening him and ordering the final to depart his dwelling.

Authorities positioned the previous crown prince beneath a type of home arrest and detained 18 individuals, together with former senior officers. On Sunday, the federal government mentioned Hamzah and others had been concerned in a “malicious plot” towards the dominion’s safety with international assist.

Abdullah and Hamzah are each sons of King Hussein, who dominated Jordan for almost a half-century earlier than his demise in 1999. Abdullah had appointed Hamzah as crown prince upon his succession however stripped him of the title in 2004.

The authorities imposed a sweeping gag order on protection of the dispute after an audio recording of the meeting between Hamzah and the chief of workers, Gen. Yousef Huneiti, raised questions on its allegations of a international conspiracy. Neither talked about any such plot of their alternate, which was recorded surreptitiously and circulated on-line.

Family members of those that had been arrested in reference to the alleged plot in the meantime mentioned they’ve had no communication with authorities or the detainees.

Those arrested embrace Yasser al-Majali, Hamzah’s chief of workers, and Samir al-Majali, each outstanding members of the Majali tribe.

“We don’t know where he is,” mentioned Yasser al-Majali’s brother, Abdullah. He mentioned they’ve been unable to achieve any officers and haven’t been knowledgeable of any costs towards their family members.

“If there is anything against them, take them to court for a fair trial,” he mentioned. “We don’t want any trouble. We care about stability and we want our people to be released.”

The Majali tribe issued an offended assertion instantly after the arrests, calling it a “black day” wherein the tribe’s dignity had been insulted.

It mentioned Samir was arrested at gunpoint whereas purchasing in a market within the city of Karak, the place the tribe relies. It mentioned Yasser was taken from the house of one other tribal sheikh in a raid that violated tribal traditions. “The armed forces came in 20 vans and wore masks,” it mentioned, including that the boys would have are available in on their very own had they been summoned for questioning.

The tribe denied the boys had plotted towards Jordan and warned towards involving them in “any internal or family dispute.” On Wednesday, video surfaced of the tribesmen holding a small rally demanding the discharge of their family members and chanting: “Where is Hamzah?”

Jordan has a big Palestinian inhabitants, together with greater than 2 million refugees from previous wars with Israel and their descendants. The monarchy has granted most of them full citizenship however has traditionally considered them with suspicion. Its foremost base of assist is highly effective tribes from east of the Jordan River, who dominate the safety forces.

For many years, the monarchy has cultivated shut ties with the U.S. and different Western nations, which it has used to press for the creation of a Palestinian state together with the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan within the 1967 struggle.

That technique has hit a wall lately because the peace course of has floor to a halt. Israel and Jordan made peace in 1994 and preserve shut safety ties, however relations have soured amid a sequence of latest diplomatic spats.

At the identical time, Gulf international locations have been cultivating nearer ties with Israel over their shared antipathy towards Iran, relations made public final year when the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize relations with Israel in a U.S.-brokered deal. Saudi Arabia has at instances gave the impression to be weighing an identical transfer.

That may jeopardize Jordan’s particular standing. The crumbling of the longstanding Arab consensus that normalization with Israel ought to be linked to concessions within the peace course of, in the meantime, undermines the prospect of making a Palestinian state, a key Jordanian curiosity.

Jordan will probably want international assist because it recovers from the coronavirus, which has devastated its tourism sector and crippled the broader economic system. The desert nation borders Israel, the occupied West Bank, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and hosts a whole bunch of 1000’s of Syrian refugees amid a inhabitants of simply 10 million.


Krauss reported from Jerusalem.

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