Jordan's Prince Hamzah bin Hussein put 'under house arrest'

Police officers at a checkpoint in Amman Jordan

Jordanian royal family member Hassan bin Zaid and former head of the royal court Basem Awadallah were arrested on Saturday due to "security reasons", according to state media Petra.

He said his security detail was removed, and his phone and Internet service had been cut.

In a video statement sent to the BBC later on Saturday, Hamzah had strong words for the security officials who he said had detained him at his home as "a warning".

Hamzah said he was not accused of making the criticisms himself. In the same message, the prince accused the Jordanian regime of being corrupt and exposing the population to a system of personal and financial favor from the monarch. "There are members of this family who still love this country, who care for (its people) and will put them above all else".

Apparently that is a crime worthy of isolation, threats, and now being cut off.

Apart from the members of the royal family, the alleged plot also involved security officials and tribal leaders.

Hamzah is a popular figure in Jordan.

As the eldest son of Queen Nour (nee Lisa Halaby), his father's fourth and final queen, the now-41-year-old prince was thought to be King Hussein's top choice as successor; he was passed over because he was still in school.

Some opposition figures have rallied around him, a move that has displeased the king, officials familiar with the situation said.

In a video, Prince Hamza claimed he was under house arrest and had been told to stay at home and not to contact anyone.

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The Post quoted a statement by the Jordanian Armed Forces which confirmed the multiple arrests and said that Prince Hamzah had been "asked to cease all movements or activities that could be employed to target Jordan's security and stability".

"Investigations are ongoing and results will be revealed with full transparency", al-Hunaiti added.

Huneiti affirmed that "no one is above the law and that Jordan's security and stability take precedence over any consideration".

The state news agency identified two of those detained: Bassem Awadallah, a US -educated longtime confidant of the king who later became minister of finance and an adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family.

Mr Awadallah, also previously served as planning minister and finance minister and has private business interests throughout the Gulf region.

The Petra news agency cited a security source as saying that the arrests were made after close security surveillance and that a full investigation is underway.

Tribes who dominate the security forces form the bedrock of support for the kingdom's Hashemite monarchy. The king has cultivated close relations with USA and other Western leaders over the years, and Jordan was a key ally in the war against the Islamic State group.

King Abdullah has ruled Jordan - which borders Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia - since the 1999 death of of his father, King Hussein, who ruled the country for close to half a century.

Abdullah has cultivated close relations with U.S. and other Western leaders over the years, and Jordan was a key ally in the war against the Islamic State group. At the time, he said he will remain devout support to Abdullah in official letter published by state media.

Discontent has risen, with Jordanians increasingly angry over the government's handling of the pandemic and its inability to contain the economic devastation wreaked by strong lockdowns and weekend quarantines.

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