Jordan PM: Expelling Hamas was a political mistake

Newly-appointed Awn Khasawneh says removing Mashaal and his leadership 12 years ago from Amman was "a legal error."

November 1, 2011 18:04

Jordanian PM Awn Khasawneh_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

The expulsion of the Hamas leadership from Jordan 12 years ago was a political mistake made illegally, Jordanian Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh said Tuesday during a meeting with trade union leaders, Army Radio reported.

Khasawneh, who took office two weeks ago, said that expelling Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and his advisors was a political and legal error.

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This Week in History: The failed assassination of Mashaal

Mashaal was forced to leave Jordan during a crackdown in 1999, when the Amman offices of Hamas were closed and its top leaders were expelled for conducting illegal activities.

He was allowed into Jordan to visit his sick mother in September which marked his second visit to the country since the crackdown in 1999.

Mashaal was permitted to visit his dying father in Amman briefly in 2009. His father's funeral turned into a show of support for Hamas.

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