Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony in Ramallah.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jordan is threatening to revoke the Jordanian citizenship of 30 senior PA officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas and his sons, London- based Alquds Alarabi newspaper reported over the weekend.
It said the threat is seen in the context of the deterioration in relations between Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
The latest crisis erupted after the Jordanians accused Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, of failing to vote in favor of Prince Ali bin al-Hussein for the presidency of soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, during its 65th congress in Zurich last week.
Rajoub, who holds Jordanian citizenship, has been declared persona non grata
and banned from entering the kingdom. Rajoub insists he did vote for Prince Ali.
According to the report, Jordanian parliament members are working toward convincing the Jordanian government to revoke the citizenship of several PA officials as part of the kingdom’s 1988 decision to cut off its administrative and legal ties with the West Bank.
The decision could affect Abbas and his two sons, who have businesses in Jordan, the newspaper said.
The Jordanians are said to be angry with the PA leadership for conducting “secret talks” with Israel to reach another peace agreement, Alquds said. Some Jordanian officials were recently quoted as claiming the PA and Israel were holding secret talks to reach an “Oslo II” agreement without coordinating the move with the kingdom. The PA has strongly denied the claims, saying there are no secret or public talks with Israel.
Last week, Abbas headed a senior delegation that visited Prince Ali at his home in Amman in an attempt to ease tensions. Following the meeting, Abbas declared that Jordanians and Palestinians “are one people living in two states.”
But the visit, according to sources in Amman, has failed to end the impasse.
In yet another bid to end the crisis, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah arrived in Amman on Saturday and held talks with his Jordanian counterpart, Abdullah Ensour.
Hamdallah expressed deep concern over the crisis, saying the PA was keen on maintaining its brotherly and strong relations with Jordan.
Hamdallah warned against “making mistakes that could have a negative impact on the relationship between the two sides.”
In a related development, a Palestinian official was quoted on Saturday as saying the PA leadership was considering removing Rajoub from his job because of the crisis he triggered with Jordan. According to the Rai Al-Youm online newspaper, the PA leadership is hoping that the dismissal of Rajoub would end the crisis with Jordan.