Jordanian FM Accuses Prince Hamzah of Plotting to Destabilize the Country

Abdullah II addressing policemen at the Public Security Directorate in Amman

"If a prince can be stymied, no Jordanian is immune from the heavy hand of the state", she said.

"Since then, a number of the people I know - or my friends - have been arrested, my security has been removed, and the internet and phone lines have been cut", the former crown prince of Jordan said.

The state news agency said on Saturday that Bassem Awadallah, a US -educated long-time confidant of the king who later became minister of finance and also advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and royal family member Sharif Hassan Ben Zaid had been detained, along with others.

Petra did not offer additional details on the arrests of royal family member Hassan bin Zaid and the former head of the royal court, Basem Awadallah, saying that an investigation is underway.

The pair were detained for "security reasons", Petra said, quoting a security source.

Jordan's Deputy Prime Minister said they had foiled a "malicious plot" - as Prince Hamzah bin Hussein was accused of carrying out actions which targeted Jordan's "stability and security". "God bless and keep them safe", she said on Twitter.

Which countries backed the king?

Although the developments in Jordan have come as a surprise for many, DW reporter Aya Ibrahim says there were indications a closer look at the developments on the ground show what led to this point.

Arab states, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, responded with statements of full support for Jordan's king.

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Gen. Yousef Huneiti, the army chief of staff, denied reports that Prince Hamzah - the king's half-brother who was also a former crown prince - had been arrested.

Some opposition figures have rallied around Prince Hamza in a move that has displeased the king, officials familiar with the situation said. Abdullah named his eldest son, Hussein, as crown prince.

Saudi Arabia said it supports King Abdullah's decision to maintain the security of his country, according to a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency Saturday.

Labib Kamhawi, a Jordanian political analyst, said the strong support for Abdullah reflected his generally good relations across the region as well as a concern that similar troubles could strike other countries. "All the solidarity with the Jordanian leadership and King Abdullah in defending the gains of the Jordanian people, protecting their stability, and refusing interference in their affairs".

Stability in Jordan and the status of the king have always been a concern throughout the region, 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 investigations had monitored interferences and communications with foreign parties over the right timing to destabilise Jordan", Safadi said.

"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that we stand by the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the king, the government, and the people", official Palestinian news agency WAFA said in a statement.

"We support the decisions taken by King Abdullah II to preserve Jordan's security and ensure its stability and unity".

The US State Department said on Saturday that King Abdullah is a "key partner" of the US.

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