Who is Jordan's ex-crown prince Hamzah, accused of destabilizing kingdom?

Jordan arrests ex-palace aide, others for ‘security’ reasons

The deputy prime minister said ongoing investigations began a long time ago, and that the Jordanian government has foiled all moves to undermine security. The rare video blamed the government for corruption, incompetence and intolerance for public dissent and was viewed as a scathing critique of the ruling monarch - though King Abdullah II was not mentioned by name.

These included a foreign intelligence agency contacting Prince Hamza's wife to organize a plane for the couple to leave Jordan, he said.

Jordan said on Sunday that former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Al-Hussein was involved in "attempts to destabilize the country's security" with foreign parties.

In the statement, Prince Hamzah said he was told he was being punished for taking in part in meetings in which the king had been criticised, though he himself was not accused of being a direct critic.

Malik R. Dahlan, an worldwide lawyer, confirmed to the New York Times, that the video was of Prince Hamzah, who serves on the board of his Institution Quraysh for Law & Policy in London, and expressed concern about "the escalation of the situation". Upon ascending to the throne in 1999, Abdullah named Hamzah as crown prince, only to revoke the title five years later.

Senior members of Jordan's royal family have been arrested or censured by the country's military, which said it was trying to prevent people who targeted the "security and stability" of the country.

A Jordanian analyst who did not want to be named for security reasons said that Hamzah had recently "stepped up his criticism of what he described as corruption within the government in front of his circle of friends". Awadallah is a former Cabinet minister and one-time head of the royal court. He said the prince's activities amounted to "incitement and efforts to mobilize citizens against the state". "It's a break from the traditions and values of the Hashemite family", he said.

Arrests of top officials and royal family members are unusual in Jordan, a normally stable Arab kingdom that has been a stalwart ally of the West, particularly when it comes to counterterrorism cooperation in the Middle East.

FILE - In this December 10, 2020 photo released by the Royal Hashemite Court, Jordan's King Abdullah II gives a speech during the inauguration of the 19th Parliament's non-ordinary session, in Amman Jordan. "And I've been informed by the company that they're instructed to cut it, so it may be the last time, I'm able to communicate", Hamzah said.

The U.S. considers Jordan a major ally, granting it access to military equipment and assistance.

Jordan also has strong ties with the USA, supporting it during the Iraq War as well as its efforts against the Islamic State. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait all expressed solidarity with the king.

Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994, but relations have been tense in recent years, largely due to differences linked to Israel's conflict with the Palestinians. Jordan is home to more than 2 million Palestinian refugees, most of whom have Jordanian citizenship.

Jordan's economy has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

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