Wed. Apr 21st, 2021

AMMAN (Reuters) – When Prince Hamza met the families of COVID-19 patients who died after being out of the hospital due to lack of oxygen, they created a rift in the Jordanian monarchy that brought the country’s reputation Unstable region shook as a stable country.

The visit to the city of Salt was on 14 March, in the words of a senior establishment, “the straw that broke the camel’s waist”, as King Abdullah did hours after visiting the hospital and publicly for nine deaths. Was scolded by

Hamza made the trip to console the bereaved six days before Prince Hussein went to town, with some officials said to have incited his younger rival to the throne.

Reuters spoke to more than a dozen officials, former officials and palace insiders about the events leading up to the charges against Hamza. He spoke on condition of anonymity to be able to discuss sensitive issues.

Eight people familiar with the situation said that Hamza’s visit had undermined his half-brother Raja, and led authorities to arrest him and accuse him of being involved in activities aimed at destabilizing the country.

While Hamza and Abdullah have publicly buried Hatek, the weekend’s dramatic events exposed a rift within a royal family that helped save Jordan from the unrest that consumed neighboring Syria and Iraq.

Hamza was widely expected to succeed Abdullah as the next king of Jordan, until Shehzade made Prince Hussein consistent with family tradition rather than in 2004.

Some experts worry that Jordan may re-ignite given underlying problems such as poverty, unemployment and rising COVID-19 deaths in Jordan, which he said contributed to the stress surrounding the open.

“The family quarrel is over, yet we must address the issues that prompted it … unemployment, COVID-19 management and poverty,” working as the last royal court chief under the late King Hussein. Javad Al Anani said, “.

“This is the reason (k) … frustration that pushes people to follow their idols.”

Hamza cannot be reached to comment on the reasons for the palace rift and his motives for visiting bereaved families.

Mahal declined to comment, when asked what prompted the government to take steps against Hamza, which has not been seen publicly since the quarrel.

On Wednesday, King Jordan said that the treason was abolished and Hamza was “under my supervision”. After mediation by the royal family, Hamza pledged allegiance to the king.

Authorities said between 14 and 16 people were arrested in connection with the alleged conspiracy.

Hamza, 41, was warmly welcomed by the families of the deceased during their visit in March.

There were small protests across Jordan over the hospital’s lack of oxygen, and some participants were chanting the prince’s name and calling for him to save the country.

The hospital could not be reached for comment on Friday morning, which is the weekend in Jordan.

Naresh, 59, has been making headlines for his 26-year-old son Hussain, has been seen on most public occasions and often goes on foreign tours with him.

According to some prominent politicians, Hamza’s activities were a concern for the king long before the events of the previous month.

The prince, son of the late King Hussein and Queen Nur, has nurtured close ties with the Jordanian tribes, which dominate the security forces and form the base of support for the kingdom’s powerful monarchy.

This year he began his travels in rural and provincial areas to meet disgruntled tribal leaders, who set up a loose opposition movement called Harak, many of whose members are retired military and security.

On social media, he appeared in a Bedouin tent sipping tea and interacting with elders who were critical of Raja for failing to provide him with adequate jobs or financial security.

Although Hamza rarely voiced his opinion publicly, the palace saw the prince’s outreach as a champion of equal opportunity for the nation’s youth, given the rising profile of King Abdullah and his son. he said.

Three palace officials also said that any royal is required to go to public places, disregarding the rules.

The security forces had followed Hamza’s every move and informed the emperor more regularly about his activities at a time of record public unemployment and growing public discontent over poverty, according to three people familiar with the situation.

When asked about the surveillance, a security official said that it was the job of intelligence agencies to protect the security of the country.

Over the past decade, anger with officials over deteriorating living standards and perceived corruption has led to major civil unrest in Jordan, mainly in the provincial and Bedouin areas where Hamza has reached local leaders.

Tribal member Abdullah Huwait recalled a gathering by the prince earlier this year in southern Jordan, where Hamza told him that his father, who had a strong connection with the tribes, never let the conditions deteriorate because he Did in Jordan.

Two attendees said that Hamza expressed sympathy for his views that the country was being poorly managed. Reuters could not independently verify its account.

Over the last 20 years, Hamza cultivated loyalty by imitating his father’s language, voice, mannerisms, and even dress. Tribal sources said that the well-run, Western-educated prince made a point of learning the dialects of every tribe.

As his popularity grew, officials felt it was finally time to step up.

“They left us with no choice,” a senior political figure said.

The Army Chief of Staff Yousef Humanity arrived at Hamza’s palace in Amman at around 2:00 pm on Saturday.

Hamza was told that mixing with unaffected tribes was a “red line” he should not have crossed.

In an audio recording leaked by Hamza on social media, the prince reacted angrily: “Sir, forgive me, where were you 20 years ago? I was the crown prince in this country by the order of my father, Allah, that Can have pity on

“I swore to them that I will continue to serve my country and people as long as I am alive.”

Army spokespersons were not immediately available for comment on the episode.

Prince Hamza also said in a video recording given to the BBC by his lawyer that he was under house arrest and was told not to stay at home and contact anyone.

Speaking in English in the video, he said that he was not part of any foreign conspiracy and called the ruling system corrupt.

“(Jordanian ‘) goodness is ranked second by a ruling system that has decided that its personal interests, financial interests, that its corruption is more important than the life and reputation and future of the ten million people living here,” They said .

(Editing by Mike Collett-White and Michael George)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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