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Jordanian Royal Court / AFP / Youssef Allan Archives / The Jordanian King with the Chief of Staff of the Army
Amman (AFP) - The Jordanian army confirmed Saturday evening that the half-brother of the Jordanian king, Prince Hamzah, was “asked to stop moves to target” Jordan’s stability, after several people were arrested, including a former head of the royal court and a figure close to the royal family.
A video clip posted on the Internet showed a massive police presence in the Dabouq area, west of the capital, Amman, near the royal palaces.
A Jordanian security source announced on Saturday evening, in statements reported by the Jordanian News Agency, that “after close security follow-up, the Jordanian citizens, Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid, Basem Ibrahim Awad Allah, and others were arrested for security reasons.”
The source added that "an investigation is under way," without further details.
Awadallah held several positions, including Chief of the Royal Court (2007-2008), Director of the King’s Office in 2006, Minister of Planning and Minister of Finance. He also worked as Director of the Economic Department in the Royal Hashemite Court.
- Washington is following closely -
Prince Hamzah is the eldest son of the late King Hussein from his American wife Queen Noor, and his official relationship with his brother King Abdullah is good, and he is close to people and clan elders.
King Abdullah nominated Prince Hamzah as crown prince in 1999 based on the wishes of his late father, but he removed him from the position in 2004 and later named his son Prince Hussein as crown prince.
For his part, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Jordanian Army, Major General Yusef Al-Huneiti, confirmed in a statement that the allegations published about the arrest of the former crown prince are untrue, but he made it clear that he was “asked to stop actions and activities that are used to target Jordan's security and stability.”
He pointed out that this came "within the framework of comprehensive joint investigations carried out by the security services, and as a result of which Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid, Basem Ibrahim Awad Allah, and others were arrested."
Al-Hunaiti said, "Investigations are continuing, and their results will be disclosed with all transparency and clarity."
He stressed that "all the measures that were taken were carried out within the framework of the law and after extensive investigations that required them," noting that "no one is above the law," stressing that "Jordan's security and stability take precedence over any consideration."
Jordan, which is home to about 10 million people, was suffering from difficult economic conditions even before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier Saturday, the Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed US intelligence official, that the Jordanian authorities had placed Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein under house arrest and arrested about 20 Jordanian officials as part of an investigation into a plot to overthrow the king.
It quoted a senior intelligence official as saying, "The move came after the discovery of what the royal court described as a complex, long-term conspiracy."
According to the newspaper, the plot includes "at least one member of the royal family, tribal leaders, and members of the security institutions."
In Washington, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Washington is “closely following” reports from Jordan.
He added, “We… are in contact with Jordanian officials. King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support. ”
- Country Centennial -
The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, expressed in a statement posted on the university’s Facebook page, “full solidarity with the measures taken by the Jordanian leadership to maintain the Kingdom’s security and maintain stability,” affirming his “confidence in the wisdom of the leadership and its keenness to secure the country's stability in parallel with respect for the constitution.” And the law ”.
Aboul Gheit added that “King Abdullah II has a highly esteemed and high position, whether among the Jordanian people or at the Arab level in general,” pointing out that “everyone knows his sincerity and his great role in serving Arab causes.”
For his part, the Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, affirmed, "The Cooperation Council stands with the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and supports it in all measures it takes to maintain security and stability in brotherly Jordan."
Al-Hajraf pointed out that “the security of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is one of the security of the countries of the Cooperation Council, based on what links the countries of the Cooperation Council and Jordan through strong bonds of brotherhood, belief and one destiny.”
And Saudi Arabia had confirmed earlier that it stood by Jordan.
A statement issued by the Saudi Royal Court stated, “The Kingdom affirms its complete stand by the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and its full support with all its capabilities for all decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein and Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince, to preserve security and stability and defuse every attempt to influence. In them ”.
Basem Awadallah was also a former planning minister, educated in the United States, and was close to the Jordanian monarch, but he was a controversial figure.
He headed the royal court in 2007, and was director of the king's office in 2006.
Awadallah played a major role in managing the economic situation in the Kingdom, and was subject to severe criticism for his role in the privatization program.
This security operation in Jordan comes as the country prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Emirate of Transjordan in 1921, which later turned into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The Kingdom declared its independence from the British Mandate in 1946. Despite the scarcity of natural resources, especially oil and water, the Kingdom was able to withstand a region that was shaken by decades of conflicts and wars.