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

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 5, 2021

Jordan's former crown prince Hamzah and his wife Basma.

It gave no further details and said an investigation was under way.

"The Iraqi government affirms that it stands with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II, in any steps taken to preserve the security and stability of the country and take care of the interests of the brotherly people of Jordan, in a way that boosts their presence, by relying on measures that aim to extend the respect of the state", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Queen Noor of Jordan and her son then-crown prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein attending a basketball match between Jordan and Lebanon, during the ninth Pan Arab Games in 1999, in Amman.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called the monarch to affirm Cairo's "full solidarity" with Jordan and express "complete support of the recent decisions (he) has taken to ensure the stability and security of the kingdom", according to a presidency statement.

Tensions within the royal household had been visible for some time, Jordanian journalist Rana Sweis told the BBC.

Safadi said Prince Hamzah has been under investigation, and that more than 10 others, including royal members close to the prince, have been arrested.

He is seen as religious and modest, in touch with the common people and similar to his beloved father, the late King Hussein.

In a video released by the BBC on Saturday, Hamzah says he has been confined to his home, after several senior figures were detained in a security sweep, amid reports of a coup plot.

He also added that King Abdullah II met with his half-brother last night and "ordered him to stop all actions that targeted Jordan's security and stability", to which Hamzah "responded negatively".

The US state department has already offered the king, who has cultivated close relations with Washington and been a key ally in the war against Islamic State, its "full support". He did not identify the "foreign parties" allegedly involved in the plot.

He has also served as an adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Jordan has few natural resources and its economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Jordanian analyst, who declined to be named, said Hamzah had recently "stepped up his criticism of what he described as corruption within the government in front of his circle of friends". Israel's Foreign Ministry declined comment.

Hamzah - a former crown prince stripped off that title by Abdullah in 2004 - has emerged as a vocal critic of the monarchy, accusing it of corruption, nepotism and authoritarian rule.

Stability in Jordan and the status of the king has always been a matter of concern, particularly during the Trump administration, which gave unprecedented support to Israel and sought to isolate the Palestinians, including by slashing funding for Palestinian refugees. The move was seen at the time as part of Abdullah's consolidation of power five years after the succession.

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