Prince Hamzeh asked to 'cease activities exploited to target Jordan's security' - army

Prince Hamzah Bin AlHussein half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah II

Prince Hamzah Bin AlHussein half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah II

Prince Hamza said in a video recording he was under house arrest and had been told to stay at home and not contact anyone.

"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. "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support", he said.

In a video the BBC said it obtained from his lawyer, Prince Hamzah said a number of his friends had been arrested, his security removed and his internet and phone lines cut. Some of these calls were made to foreign parties.

What was the reaction in Jordan?

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"Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander. God bless and keep them safe", tweeted his American-born mother, Queen Noor Sunday.

Gen. Yousef Huneiti issued a statement saying Hamzeh had not been detained but instead was "asked to stop movements and activities that were being employed to target Jordan's security and stability", adding that "all the procedures were conducted within the framework of the law and after extensive investigations".

"No one is above the law and Jordan's security and stability are above all", he told the official Petra news agency.

The deputy prime minister said authorities arrested between 14 to 16 people, as well as two main top officials. 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.

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.

Safadi said Awadallah was in contact with the so-called "foreign opposition", which aimed to incite the people against the Jordanian state.

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.

He was the king's envoy to Saudi Arabia, where he also had investments, according to local media reports.

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Sherif is a title given to those close to the royal family in Jordan.

"This is something the king does not accept or tolerate, " he told the AP. "This file is now more or less closed".

The United States, the United Kingdom and Gulf allies rallied behind the king, highlighting Jordan's strategic importance in the region.

Egypt voiced support for King Abdullah and his efforts "to maintain the security and stability of the kingdom against any attempts to undermine it", its presidency spokesman wrote on Facebook.

The United Arab Emirates said it was in "full solidarity" with 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.

A country of 10 million people, Jordan's economy was already suffering before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. He has good relations officially with Abdullah, his half-brother, and is a popular figure close to tribal leaders.

Amman-based journalist Rana Sweis told DW that Prince Hamzah's video appeal was "unprecedented".

"We are.in touch with Jordanian officials".

"It is really a rare kind of tension that we have not really seen before at the forefront", she added.

Jordan has always been a key Western ally and an island of stability in a turbulent region.

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