Jordan Accuses Prince Hamzah of Undermining Country’s Security

Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid

Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi called the monarch to affirm Cairo's "full solidarity" with Jordan and express "complete support of the recent decisions [he] has taken to ensure the stability and security of the kingdom", according to a presidency statement.

In the video, Prince Hamzah said a senior official had told him he was not allowed to go out or communicate with people because of criticisms of the government or king voiced at meetings where he had been present.

Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday that former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein and his aides were in contact with "foreign parties" about the "right timing to destabilize" Jordanian security. "The plot is totally contained". In the night from Saturday to Sunday, Hamzah had announced in a secretly recorded video leaked to the media that he had been placed under house arrest.

Hamzah's mother, American-born Queen Noor, defended her son and the others, tweeting that she was "praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander".

Hamzah is the eldest son of Queen Noor and the late king Hussein.

Videos posted online showed a heavy police deployment in the Dabouq area near the royal palaces on the edge of Amman, while former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein said he was confined to his home.

His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein today holds the trust, going on the path of fathers and grandfathers, reinforcing the building of a dear homeland governed by its constitution and laws, fortified with the awareness and cohesion of its people, and impervious to its well-established national institutions, which enabled Jordan to face all dangers and challenges and defeat them with God's help and care.

Hamzah is a popular figure in Jordan, widely seen as pious and modest.

"We are confident the global community will work hard to ensure that the deficiencies in the [2015 nuclear accord] are eventually addressed and they will also address the regional instability that is caused by Iran's activities", he said. "As a result, it was necessary for the security and intelligence apparatuses to move to throttle at birth this malicious plot". He did not identify the "foreign parties" allegedly involved in the plot.

Among those detained was Bassem Awadallah, a former finance and planning minister and a longtime confidant of the king.

"This sedition was nipped in the bud", Safadi said.

On the subject of talks this coming week about the Iranian nuclear deal, Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia had been given assurances that any new deal would be more demanding of Iran when it comes to its ballistic missile capabilities and its support for armed groups in the region.

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Mr Safadi said that a "foreign intelligence agency" had been in contact with Prince Hamza's wife to supply them with a plane out of the country.

In a statement to the Walla news site, however, Shaposhnik maintained that he was never a Mossad officer. He said he offered to host Hamzah's wife and children after hearing about the prince's predicament. "It's a break from the traditions and values of the Hashemite family", he said.

Safadi declined to say whether the prince would be charged with a crime, saying only there were attempts to resolve the matter amicably.

Such public clashes between the highest ranks of the long-ruling family are unheard of, and any signs of instability in Jordan could raise concerns throughout the region.

None of the leaders in the region "would like to see havoc hitting any regime", Kamhawi said. USA special forces and other troops routinely train with the Jordanians.

Morocco's foreign affairs ministry also expressed support for Jordan's stability.

That placed Jordan, which serves as the custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem _ and is home to a large Palestinian population _ in a delicate position.

Prince Faisal also reiterated the Saudi stance that a normalisation of ties with Israel would only be possible after a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel's Defence Minister Benny Gantz said "Jordan is a neighbour and strategic ally with whom we have peaceful relations".

"The country has really suffered under the COVID-19 pandemic economically".

The Jordanian government initially denied reports that Prince Hamzah had been arrested, but a video first obtained by the BBC said that he was under house arrest and had his phone and internet access restricted.

Nonetheless, she said it sent a powerful message to the Jordanian public.

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