Jordanian King reshuffles top brass

King Abdullah II of Jordan replaces general intelligence chief and several other officials amid fears of instability.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

King Abdullah II
King Abdullah II

King Abdullah II of Jordan has reshuffled his top brass amid fears of instability in the Arab country, The Associated Press reported on Friday.

The most prominent change reported by state news agency Petra is the replacement of the general intelligence chief.

In a letter to the new director, Ahmed Hossni, the king cited "many unprecedented challenges" imposed by regional and international dynamics, according to Petra.

Several officials at the influential Royal Court have also been removed from their posts, according to AP.

Jordan is an oasis of stability in a turbulent Middle East and it has housed millions of refugees fleeing wars in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

At the same time, the kingdom’s economy has deteriorated in recent years for several reasons, including the intake of the Syrian refugees as well as the conduct of recent governments.

Last year, King Abdullah replaced his Prime Minister amid widespread anger over economic policies that sparked the largest protests in the kingdom in several years.

He later said that Jordan was at a crossroads and that a new way was needed to address challenges.

Jordan's main political opposition in recent years has come from the Muslim Brotherhood movement but it faces increasing legal curbs on its activities, leaving mostly pro-monarchy parties and some independent Islamists and politicians to compete in these elections, political analysts say.

The Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was designated by the kingdom as a terrorist group in December of 2014 and one of its top members was later charged with "souring ties with a foreign country" by criticizing the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

At the same time, compared with the tough crackdowns on Islamist groups in Egypt and Gulf countries, Jordanian authorities have been relatively tolerant of the Brotherhood's presence.

The Brotherhood wants sweeping political reforms but stops short of demanding the overthrow of the monarchy in Jordan.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)