Jordan Warming Up to Hamas
Jordan Warming Up to Hamas

A sudden change in Jordanian policy that now is fostering warmer relations with the outlawed Hamas terrorist party is worrying both Israel and the Fatah-led administration of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He sent one of his top ministers to Amman to Jordan last week "to find out what the Jordanians are up to and if their contacts with Hamas meant dropping support" for the PA, according to the Associated Press.

Jordanian intelligence chief Mohammed al-Dahabi has met twice this month with Hamas leaders although the organization is outlawed in the country. Itai Bardov, spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Amman, termed the contacts as being "unhelpful to the peace process."

Lurking in the background is the possibility of Hamas becoming stronger if Abbas fails to reach an agreement with Israel for a new Arab state. Another scenario, in the event of a failure, would be the chance of an emigration of Arabs from Judea and Samaria to Jordan or calls for a confederation with Jordan.

The result would be an even a larger number of Jordanian Arabs who claim descent from Israel including Judea, Samaria and Gaza. They already comprise more than 50 percent of Jordan's population.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) tried to overthrow the Hashemite kingdom in 1970.