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Jordan Arrests Hamas Members - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat- Jordanian security sources have revealed to Asharq al-Awsat that a secret investigation into the smuggling of weapons by Hamas into Jordan has implicated five members of the Palestinian parliament movement.

The issue was first raised last Tuesday by a Jordanian government spokesperson who said security forces seized rocket launchers and other weapons from a Hamas arms cache in the country. Amman also accused Hamas of using Jordan to engage in anti-Israeli activities.

The accusations caused a fallout between the Jordanian government and Hamas, which now dominates the Palestinian government and parliament.

Following the announcement, the Jordanian government cancelled Wednesday’s visit of Mahmoud A-Zahar, who heads external relations in the Palestinian government.

The sources said the five people involved in the smuggling were members of Hamas and active supporters of the organization in Jordan and outside the country. The group members, two of whom are Jordanians, were caught smuggling arms and storing them on Jordanian soil, and also surveying strategic locations in the country.

The sources said the suspects will be taken to a national security court when the investigation is completed.

Hamas officials have vociferously denied the allegations, which they say are fabricated. They say Amman is being influenced by the United States to boycott the new Palestinian government.

Analysts say Jordan is concerned about the rise of Hamas, since the movement was inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a significant following in Jordan. Amman is concerned the victory will embolden these Islamists and will undermine Jordan’s stability.

A-Zahar’s visit to Jordan would have been the first by a Hamas leader since the nation expelled the group’s leadership in 1999, Al-Jazeera noted.

Palestinian Authority (P.A.) Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas was informed of the allegations last week. He assured that the P.A. and the Palestinian people are interested in a stable and secure Jordan.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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