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Sunday, April 11, 2021

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

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AMMAN, Jordan — Staff 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 kin mentioned, casting doubt on earlier claims by the royal court docket that it had resolved an unusually public and bitter rift.

The royal court docket launched an announcement lower than a day in the past saying that the prince, Hamzah bin Hussein, had pledged his loyalty to King Abdullah II, his older half brother. However Prince Hamzah’s chief of employees, Yasser Majali, and Mr. Majali’s cousin, Samir Majali, are nonetheless being held in an unknown location, based on their household, which comes from one among Jordan’s essential tribes.

The 2 have been 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.

“Each time we name somebody, they are saying we’ll get again to you,” mentioned Abdullah Majali, Yasser’s brother, in an account corroborated by a second senior member of the Majali household. “We nonetheless don’t know the place they’re.”

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 most recent twists in a royal feud that exploded into public view over the weekend, upending the household’s repute for discretion and the nation’s picture as a uncommon haven of stability in a turbulent area.

Jordan is a key accomplice in regional counterterrorism missions, a base for American troops and plane, and a significant recipient of American help. Bordering Syria, Iraq, Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, it’s thought-about an necessary 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 employees 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 federal government’s statements hinted that these arrested had been concerned in a foreign-backed coup try, however stopped in need of utilizing such direct language.

Prince Hamzah fired again with two movies by which he excoriated his brother’s authorities, however denied involvement in any plot and mentioned he was being held below 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 within the prince’s title by which he pledged to “stand behind His Majesty in his efforts to guard Jordan and its pursuits of the nation.”

However the uncertainty on Tuesday concerning the whereabouts of the Majalis and the prince himself recommended that tensions had not utterly dissipated.

The federal government’s narrative was additionally positioned below 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.

Within the recording, which was obtained by The New York Instances 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 normal.

“Throughout these conferences, there was discuss concerning the authorities’s efficiency and the efficiency of the crown prince,” Common Huneiti mentioned, based on the recording.

“This discuss got here from me?” replied Prince Hamzah.

“No,” the final mentioned. “From the folks you have been assembly with. We each know, sir, this crossed the pink strains. Folks have begun talking out greater than they need to. Subsequently, I hope his royal highness abides and refrains from attending such events.”

The Majali household expressed doubt that any kin have been ever even able to assist a supposed plot to destabilize the dominion.

Samir Majali had met just some instances with Prince Hamzah for lunch, in his formal capability as a tribal elder, mentioned Samir’s cousin Hisham Majali.

Yasser had been convalescing at dwelling 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, mentioned.

Neither man had a connection to Mr. Awadallah, their kin mentioned.

“They don’t even know him,” mentioned Abdullah. “It’s unacceptable that they might hyperlink their names.”

Many Jordanians additionally consider that Prince Hamzah himself and Mr. Awadallah could be unlikely co-conspirators. Prince Hamzah is intently tied with Jordan’s Indigenous tribes, just like the Majalis, whereas Mr. Awadallah, a former head of the royal court docket, is among the many 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 presidency critics whereas he was in workplace, the prince presents himself as a proponent of excellent governance.

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