As Jordan Seeks to Quell Royal Feud, Allies of Prince Remain in Detention

AMMAN, Jordan — Employees and associates of a Jordanian prince accused of plotting to undermine the federal government have been nonetheless being held incommunicado by safety forces on Tuesday, their family members stated, casting doubt on earlier claims by the royal court docket that it had resolved an unusually public and bitter rift between the prince, Hamzah bin Hussein, and his older half brother, King Abdullah II.

Prince Hamzah’s chief of workers, Yasser Majali, and Mr. Majali’s cousin, Samir Majali, have been each arrested on Saturday, the day that the federal government claimed that the prince had been concerned in a plot to destabilize the dominion’s stability.

The Majali household, which comes from one of Jordan’s primary tribes, stated on Tuesday that the 2 have been nonetheless being held in an unknown location, lower than a day after the royal court docket launched an announcement that quoted Prince Hamzah as saying that he had pledged his loyalty to the king.

“Every time we call someone, they say we will get back to you,” stated Abdullah Majali, Yasser’s brother, in an account corroborated by a second senior member of the Majali household. “We still don’t know where they are.”

Prince Hamzah’s whereabouts was additionally unknown as of Tuesday morning. And the Jordanian authorities issued a gag order on Tuesday that barred Jordanian information shops and social media customers from discussing the case.

The developments are the newest twists in a royal feud that exploded into public view over the weekend, upending the household’s popularity for discretion and the nation’s picture as a uncommon haven of stability in a turbulent area.

Jordan is a key associate in regional counterterrorism missions, a base for American troops and plane, and a serious recipient of American assist. Bordering Syria, Iraq, Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, it’s thought-about an vital interlocutor in regional diplomacy — and a linchpin of any potential Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Over the weekend, the Jordanian authorities arrested a number of of Prince Hamzah’s workers members and associates, and accused the prince himself of working with a former senior royal aide and cupboard minister, Bassem Awadallah, to undermine the nation’s stability.

The authorities’s statements hinted that these arrested had been concerned in a foreign-backed coup try, however stopped quick of utilizing such direct language.

Prince Hamzah fired again with two movies in which he excoriated his brother’s authorities, however denied involvement in any plot and stated he was being held beneath home arrest — an allegation the federal government denied.

By Monday night time, tempers appeared to have calmed, because the royal palace launched an announcement written in the prince’s identify in which he pledged to “stand behind His Majesty in his efforts to protect Jordan and its interests of the nation.”

But the uncertainty on Tuesday concerning the whereabouts of the Majalis and the prince himself instructed that tensions had not fully dissipated.

The authorities’s narrative was additionally positioned beneath query on Tuesday by the leak of a recording of a dialog final week between the prince and the top of the Jordanian navy, Maj. Gen. Yousef Huneiti.

In the recording, which was obtained by The New York Times and different media shops, the final seems to acknowledge that the prince had not personally moved in opposition to the king, however had as a substitute attended social gatherings the place criticism of the federal government was made by others.

With coronavirus-related deaths on the rise in Jordan, the prince’s allies say he had attended extra wakes and funerals than traditional.

“During these meetings, there was talk about the government’s performance and the performance of the crown prince,” General Huneiti stated, in accordance to the recording.

“This talk came from me?” replied Prince Hamzah.

“No,” the final stated. “From the people you were meeting with. We both know, sir, this crossed the red lines. People have begun speaking out more than they should. Therefore, I hope his royal highness abides and refrains from attending such occasions.”

The Majali household expressed doubt that any family members have been ever even in a place to assist a supposed plot to destabilize the dominion.

Samir Majali had met only a few occasions with Prince Hamzah for lunch, in his formal capability as a tribal elder, stated Samir’s cousin Hisham Majali.

Yasser had been convalescing at residence after a coronary heart assault adopted by a bout of the coronavirus, and had not been to work in a number of weeks, his brother, Abdullah Majali, stated.

Neither man had a connection to Mr. Awadallah, their family members stated.

“They don’t even know him,” stated Abdullah. “It’s unacceptable that they would link their names.”

Many Jordanians additionally imagine that Prince Hamzah himself and Mr. Awadallah can be unlikely co-conspirators. Prince Hamzah is carefully tied with Jordan’s Indigenous tribes, just like the Majalis, whereas Mr. Awadallah, a former head of the royal court docket, is one of the numerous Jordanian residents from households of Palestinian origin.

The pair have totally different views on financial and political coverage. And whereas Mr. Awadallah was typically a goal of authorities critics whereas he was in workplace, the prince presents himself as a proponent of good governance.

Source link