Fraternal quarrels subsided in the Jordanian royal family, but rumors of conspiracy against the king persist

Archival photo from 2001 of Jordan's King Abdullah with his half-brother Prince Hamzah.  AP image
Archival photo from 2001 of Jordan’s King Abdullah with his half-brother Prince Hamzah.AP image

Prince Hassan, the former brother of King Hussein and the uncle of both men, brokered the conflict that had been brewing for some time, but this weekend led to an open dispute. On the same day, the Jordanian security service arrested dozens of people on charges of conspiring against the king, and Hamzah, 41, was placed under house arrest. In his video message, Hamza later denied involvement in a conspiracy, but accused the royal family of corruption and incompetence.

The country’s international allies were shaken, because Jordan, of all places, is a beacon of calm in a tense region. It is an important partner in fighting Islamic extremism, and plays a major role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process – although recent agreements between Israel and a number of Arab countries have undermined the Jordanian spearhead that peace can only be achieved when the Palestinians are. Get their own land. In addition, the country suffers from an economic crisis, extremely high unemployment rates, and the reception of nearly two million Syrian refugees in Jordan.


Prince Hassan seems to have de-escalated the conflict. He arrived on Monday evening with a statement signed by Hamza. The interests of the homeland must remain above all considerations, and we must all rally around the king’s efforts to protect Jordan and his national interests. (…) In light of the developments that have taken place in the past two days, I place myself in the hands of His Highness, the King.

However, important questions remain unanswered. It is unclear if a plot was actually planned against the king, whether Prince Hamzah was involved, and whether foreign powers, as the security forces indicated, were involved. Additionally, Hamza was not seen until Tuesday, and some of his immediate staff are still missing. For example, his chief of staff, Samir Majali, a member of the important Majali tribe, is still being held in an unknown location, according to his family, indicating that the tensions have yet to be fully resolved.

Archival photo from 2004 of Prince Hamzah with his mother, Queen Noor.  AP image
Archival photo from 2004 of Prince Hamzah with his mother, Queen Noor.AP image

The Jordanian royal family has always managed to hide any tensions from the outside world. Hamza is the eldest son of the beloved King Hussein and his fourth wife, Nour. He considered him a favorite, but when Hussain died in 1999, Hamza was still too young to become king, so his half-brother Abdullah was crowned.

In 2004, Hamza was stripped of the crown prince title because Abdullah wanted “his half-brother restored his freedom.” Abdullah’s eldest son, also called Hussein, became the new crown prince – a change that increased the king’s power.

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