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Hamas and Jordan are gradually getting closer, after a long estrangement

18 11 0
13.05.2019

In recent weeks, Hamas has been receiving positive messages from Jordan in the form of praise for its stance on the US “deal of the century”; its refusal to establish an “alternative homeland” in the Hashemite Kingdom; and its support for Jordan’s demands to keep its guardianship over Jerusalem. There have even been calls for the restoration of Jordan’s relations with the Palestinian movement.

Unofficial contacts between Hamas and Jordan are witnessing a gradual and unmistakable growth in light of a series of measures and messages sent by the movement to the Kingdom. While the government in Amman has not responded like for like, it is clear that the Royal Palace may want to thaw the icy barrier between the two since the Hamas leadership was expelled from Jordan in 2000.

In late April, the former head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, announced that the movement was communicating with official parties in Jordan in order to confront the “deal of the century”. He added that Jordan was being subjected to sanctions and a virtual siege to pressure the Kingdom to accept the deal. Meshaal also praised King Abdullah’s position on the matter of Jerusalem.

This is perhaps the first time that Hamas has revealed its communication with Amman, despite the estrangement. Meshaal’s words strengthen rumours of their private links reaching unprecedented levels.

READ: Why did Netanyahu end the offensive on Gaza very quickly?

Ismail Haniyeh, Meshaal’s successor as head of the Hamas political bureau said in early April that the movement stands by Jordan in standing up to US and Israeli pressure, which seeks to change the geopolitics of the region. Haniyeh explained during his visit to the Jordanian Field Hospital in Gaza that Hamas will not accept solutions to the Palestinian cause that come at the expense of Jordan and its sovereignty. Later in the month, the Hamas leader then delivered a rare recorded speech during the Muslim Brotherhood festival in Jordan in which he addressed the issue of Jerusalem and expressed the view that Jordan must remain the strategic depth for the Holy City. I attended a closed meeting organised by Haniyeh along with a number of other writers in Gaza in early April, during which he reiterated that Hamas supports the Jordanian demands to keep its guardianship over the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

Press sources have stated that Haniyeh and Meshaal’s statements were received well by the Jordanian authorities, who responded positively. This was followed by the........

© Middle East Monitor