Jordan Accuses Prince Hamzah of Undermining Country’s Security

Jordan Accuses Prince Hamzah of Undermining Country’s Security”

It is former Crown Prince Hamza bin Hussein, a half-brother of Abdullah, who, with the support of about 20 others, may have planned a coup.

"The internet and phone lines have been cut..." Hamzah sent a video recording to the BBC saying he was being silenced and lashed out at authorities saying the country had become "stymied in corruption, nepotism and misrule".

"Because in the royal family, you don't imprison a prince, you sideline him".

The pair were detained for "security reasons", Petra said, quoting a security source.

Events could affect Jordan's image as an island of stability in the troubled Middle East. Hamza, who was raised by his mother, Queen Noor, to succeed former King Hussein, was astonished after being sidelined by Abdullah as an option to the throne in 2004, a move that consolidated his power.

He was declared a crown prince on February 7, 1999, but he was replaced on November 28, 2004 by King Abdullah II's eldest son, Hussein bin Abdullah, who was appointed to the post by his father.

Bessma Momani, a professor of global relations at Ontario's Waterloo University, said the house arrest of Hamzah was "self-defeating" because it is likely to strengthen the prince's popularity.

The prince previously had meetings with a number of groups in order to "persuade them into destabilising the country", Safadi said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a severe blow to Jordan's economy, pushing unemployment to record levels and deepening poverty.

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The Washington Post said the former crown prince was "placed under restriction" as part of a probe into an alleged plot to unseat the king.

President Michel Aoun on Sunday announced that "Lebanon's president and people stand by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan", a day after several senior figures were detained and a half-brother to the monarch said he was under house arrest.

He has cultivated close relations with USA and other Western leaders over the years, and Jordan was a key ally in the war against the Islamic State group. "The official media is totally silent and we know that there is much more to the story that we are not seeing".

"We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials", State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia reacted swiftly to the developments in Amman.

"His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa affirmed full support to the decisions and measures taken by HM King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordan to maintain his country's security and stability and defuse all disruptive attempts", state news agency BNA said.

In a press briefing held at the Prime Ministry to acquaint the public with the details of the alleged arrest of Prince Hamzeh, Safadi stressed that security agencies carried out "thorough and intensive investigations" regarding communications between Awadallah, Zeid and Prince Hamzeh in which they discussed the "proper timing" to take steps, which threaten the safety and stability of the Kingdom.

Zaid is a distant cousin of King Abdullah II. For the first several years he was the king's confidant and for some time the finance minister.

Before becoming royal court chief in 2007, he was head of the king's cabinet in 2006.

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