Jordan may be threatening to revoke the citizenship of several prominent Palestinian Authority members, most notably Chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself, the Jerusalem Post reported Saturday. The news comes from the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi paper, and is the latest volley in the rising tensions between the PA and Jordan.
The Jordanians accused Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestine Football Association, of not voting for Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein for FIFA president during the 65th FIFA congress last week, a claim Rajoub flatly denies. Al-Hussein lost to incumbent Sepp Blatter, who announced his resignation shortly thereafter amid a corruption scandal.
Rajoub has been declared persona non grata in Jordan and barred from entering the country, despite holding citizenship there. Online paper Rai al-Youm reported that Palestinian authorities are mulling removing Rajoub from his position in an effort to improve relations with Jordan.
Now, several parliament members are working to convince the government to revoke the citizenship of several PA officials, as part of a 1988 decision to cut off administrative and legal ties with the West Bank.
This decision could affect Abbas and his two sons, who have business ties to the Hashemite Kingdom.
The Jordanians are also allegedly upset over “secret talks” they say the PA is holding with Israel to reach a peace agreement behind their backs. The PA insists there are no such meetings begin conducted.
Last week, in a bid to ease tensions between what Abbas called “one people living in two states”, the PA chairman led a senior delegation to visit Prince Ali at his Amman home. The meeting did little to change the relationship impasse.
PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah also met with his Jordanian counterpart, Abdullah Ensour, to improve ties between the two groups. Hamdallah warned against “making mistakes that could have a negative impact on the relationship between the two sides.”