What Does the Hamas Victory Mean for Jordan

(Daily Star-Lebanon/Bitterlemons-International) Omar Karmi - Hamas, while originally founded in the Gaza Strip as an outgrowth of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, has maintained very close ties to Jordan's Islamists, and for a long time Hamas' leadership in exile was based in Amman. Traditionally, the Hashemites, unique among ruling regimes in the region, maintained close relations with Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood. King Abdullah, however, has taken a more confrontational approach. In 1999, only six months into his reign, commercial offices in Amman registered under the names of Hamas leaders were shut down, Hamas activists were detained, and arrest warrants were issued against five Hamas leaders. Mashaal and his colleagues were arrested and deported. A successful Hamas will increase the popularity of Jordan's Islamists and render it more difficult to curb their influence. A failed Hamas potentially poses an even more serious problem, particularly if the PA collapses or a civil war breaks out.

2006-02-21 00:00:00

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