King Abdullah of Jordan and his half-brother, former Crown Prince Hamza bin Hussein, made their first joint appearance on Sunday (11), in a ceremony that celebrated 100 years of independence since the crisis in the family royal.
State media have shown that the king and other family members are laying wreaths on the tombs of the Raghdan Palace in the capital Amman.
King Abdullah had already announced four days ago, Wednesday (7), that the alleged coup attempt in the country had been suppressed and that the situation was stable, but said the offensive was particularly painful. because it came from a member of the royal family – Hamza was accused of conspiring against “the security and stability” of the country.
King Abdullah’s declaration came two days after Hamza pledged allegiance to him. After mediation from the royal family, the former crown prince signed a letter of loyalty to the monarch, who said he decided to deal with the case “within the Hashemite family structure”. “As for the other aspects, they are under investigation, in accordance with the law,” he said.
On April 3, the country’s armed forces arrested 20 people in an operation and alerted the government to actions against “the security and stability” of Jordan – an ally of the United States.
On video, Prince Hamza, 41, denied the accusation and said he was under house arrest. He said he was not involved in a conspiracy and accused his country’s authorities of corruption and incompetence.
According to the official news agency, Hamza was already under investigation and, between the intercepted communications, there were conversations between foreign intelligence agents and the prince’s wife to arrange for the dispatch of a plane to get the couple out of the country.
Around 16 people have been arrested in connection with the alleged plot. Among Saturday’s detainees are Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Awadallah, a confidant of the king who later became finance minister and adviser to Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman, which raised the possibility that Saudi Arabia has some kind of participation in a so-called plan in Jordan.
Hamza was raised by his mother, Queen Noor, to succeed King Hussein (1935-1999), who ruled for nearly five decades. However, another son, Abdullah, was named heir and ascended to the throne in 1999. In 2004, Abdullah removed Hamza from the post of crown prince and gave the post to his son, also known as Hussein.
Since then, Hamza has tried to gain popularity among the important tribes of the country. Opposition figures approached him, which the king saw with reservations. These opposition tribes, called Herak, have called for protests against corruption in Jordan, where the Covid-19 pandemic has caused record unemployment and increased poverty. They also played an important role in the Arab Spring protests in the country.
King Abdullah was able to bring political stability to the country and gain stature as a prominent Arab leader whose message resonated especially in Western forums. The country has banned all media and social media users from posting any content related to the Hamza investigations.
Most politicians believe Prince Hamza does not pose a threat, given that the armed and security forces strongly support King Abdullah. “I believe that the king has strengthened his authority and that his son, Hussein, consolidated himself as heir to the throne,” said Jawad al Anani, who was the last head of the court in King Hussein’s reign.
The Saudi royal court has expressed full support for King Abdullah, as well as Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain and the United States – an important ally of the country. President Joe Biden even called the monarch to say that Washington supported Jordan’s actions “to preserve its security and stability.”