Israel Fears Unrest In Jordan The Israeli government is concerned that instability can threaten the rule of Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and is committing to work quietly with the king on security matters, according to a top Palestinian Authority official.
Abdullah himself fears for his future rule, the PA official said, citing the possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood-inspired revolution aimed at toppling the Jordanian regime.
Abdullah is largely considered a moderate Arab leader. He is a staunch U.S. ally whose country maintains a peace treaty with Israel.
Earlier this week, Abdullah made a rare visit to Ramallah to meet with PA President President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of the Palestinian leader’s planned meeting with Hamas chief Khaled Meshal to discuss a future Palestinian national unity government. The Jordanian king has not visited the West Bank in more than five years.
According to the top PA security official speaking to this column, Abdullah expressed concern about the possibility of Hamas assuming control of the West Bank, which borders Jordan. Abdullah also told Abbas he was concerned the Palestinian leader’s drive for the unilateral recognition of a state at the United Nations will fail, precipitating unrest in the West Bank that could spill over into Jordan, the official said.
The Palestinian security official said Israeli security agencies have been working quietly with Jordan to help strengthen Abdullah’s regime, including suppressing threats to the Jordanian kingdom. The official said the Jordan monarchy has identified three main threats: the Muslim Brotherhood, acting within Jordan; Bedouin tribes in the east of the country who aim to topple Abdullah; and remnants of a group of Jordanian intelligence officers expelled after attempting to plot a coup d’etat against Abdullah.
The official said that the Jordanian government doesn’t have any specific information that the three elements are currently working together. Still, the official said Jordan is worried a “big wave” of anti-regime protests will sweep the country in the future.
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In a sign of the shifting powers in the region, the Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas reportedly announced that the next Palestinian government will be located in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, while the next prime minister will also be from Gaza.
According to sources in both the PA and Hamas speaking to KleinOnline, the unity deal not only leaves Hamas in full security control of the Gaza Strip, but it also paves the way for tens of thousands of Hamas security forces to be placed on the PA payroll, which is funded in large part by the U.S. and Europe
The sources said a common apparatus will be created to pay both Hamas and Fatah forces after the first year of the unity deal. That would place between 15,000 and 20,000 Hamas forces on the PA’s payroll if a unity deal is forged.
The technical explanation being given by PA sources is that the Palestinian leadership believes it is better to maintain one major financial apparatus to pay all security forces, instead of having a separate governmental system in Gaza run by Hamas.
Monthly salaries of Hamas security officers in Gaza typically range from between 800 and 1,500 shekel, or between $244 and $421.
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