Jordanian king places half-brother under house arrest


King Abdullah II says Prince Hamzah will not be given “room to offend the nation” as the royal divide widens.

Jordanian King Abdullah II has imposed restrictions on the movements, whereabouts and communications of his estranged half-brother Prince Hamzah, widening a royal divide in the kingdom.

In a forcefully worded public letter published Thursday, King Abdullah II said he had enacted the measures because of Hamzah’s “irregular behavior and aspirations”.

“We will provide Hamzah with everything he needs to live a comfortable life, but he will not be given the space he once abused to offend the nation, its institutions and his family, nor to threaten the stability of Jordan.” undermine,” he said.

Abdullah added that in the past year his half-brother had “exhausted every opportunity to put himself back on the right path”.

The announcement marked the latest chapter in an ongoing palace feud that saw the junior royal placed under a form of detention last year and the royal family’s internal disputes came into the public eye.

Abdullah and Hamzah are sons of King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for nearly half a century before his death in 1999.

Abdullah had appointed Hamzah as crown prince after his succession, but later stripped him of that title and instead appointed his own son as heir, as stipulated in the country’s constitution.

Alleged plot to destabilize the monarchy

Hamzah was placed under house arrest last year after he was accused of trying to destabilize the monarchy, a close ally of the West, in a foreign-inspired plot.

He was later spared a sentence after swearing allegiance to the king, but a former chief royal adviser, Bassem Awadallah, and a minor royal family were sentenced to 15 years in prison for their involvement in the alleged plan.

According to the Royal Court, Hamzah said in an apology sent to Abdullah in March that he hoped “we can turn the page of this chapter in the history of our country and our family”.

Restrictions on Hamza’s movements were eased after he issued the mea culpa, pledging not to act against the interests of Jordanian rulers.

But last month he announced that he was relinquishing his royal title, saying his beliefs were inconsistent with the “current approaches, policies and methods” of Jordanian institutions. That move angered the palace, which says titles can only be revoked by the monarch under royal family laws.

In Thursday’s letter, Abdullah lashed out at his half-brother, saying he would “never allow our country to be held hostage at the whim of someone who has done nothing to serve. [it]†

The monarch’s strongly worded public condemnation marked a potentially risky move. Hamzah enjoys great popularity in Jordan, especially among the tribes, who have traditionally been a mainstay of the royal family.

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