Jordan Accuses Prince Hamzah of Undermining Country’s Security

Carrie Guzman
April 5, 2021

Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday (4) that Prince Hamza bin Hussein, King Abdullah's half-brother and former heir to the throne, was conspiring with foreign agents to destabilize the country and was under attack.

Official news agency Petra said a former aide to the royal family Bassem Awadallah and an unspecified number of other suspects had been arrested.

As well, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of King Abduullah II and former crown prince, said he's been placed under house arrest - a claim disputed by authorities. He did not specify what such actions were.

Between 14 and 16 people are under arrest, he told reporters.

Hamzeh, 41, the ruling king's half brother, served as Jordan's crown prince for four years until 2004, when the title was transferred to the king's eldest son, Hussein.

The US State Department on Saturday said "We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials", Ned Price, a State Department spokesman, said in a statement.

The government also made other high profile arrests on Saturday, including a former minister and another member of the royal family, citing "the security and stability of Jordan".

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"What Prince Hamza said is repeatedly heard in the homes of every Jordanian", said Ahmad Hasan al Zoubi, a prominent columnist, on his Facebook account.

Although he has been marginalized for years, Prince Hamza has angered authorities by forging ties with disgruntled figures within powerful tribes. The "Herak", a pro-democracy gathering, have been protesting corruption in Jordan since the 2011 Arab Spring.

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In his phone call today with King Abdullah II, King Mohammed VI reassured him of Morocco's full support for the stability and security of Jordan.

Although the developments in Jordan have come as a surprise for many, DW reporter Aya Ibrahim says there were indications a closer look at the developments on the ground show what led to this point. "The security of Jordan is stable and steadfast with the awareness of our defiant people, the wisdom of the king and the dedication of our security services".

Officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry have declined to comment on the situation.

Prince Hamza, who had been groomed by his mother Queen Noor to succeed his late father King Hussein, has been pushed into the political wilderness since he was sacked as crown prince.

Safadi hinted to the existence of "illusions and aspirations" that were consolidated by agendas aiming at threatening the safety of Jordan and weakening its stance towards regional issues. The ruling Hashemite dynasty claims lineage from the Prophet Muhammad.

The official Al-Rai newspaper warned on Sunday that Jordan's "security and stability" were a "red line that must not be crossed or even approached".

Awadallah, who was a driving force behind economic reforms before he resigned as chief of the royal court in 2008, has long faced stiff resistance from an old guard and an entrenched bureaucracy that flourished for years on government perks.

"The Iraqi government affirms that it stands with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II, in any steps taken to preserve the security and stability of the country and take care of the interests of the brotherly people of Jordan, in a way that boosts their presence, by relying on measures that aim to extend the respect of the state", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Mr Safadi said Jordanian intelligence had intercepted certain communications at what he called the "zero hour".

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