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Prince Hamza. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty

A day after putting former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein under house arrest, the Jordanian government on Sunday publicly accused him of conspiring to destabilize the country.

Why it matters: Prince Hamzah claims he is a victim of a campaign by the royal palace to crack down on dissent and silence his criticism of the government’s corruption and incompetence. Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi rebutted those claims in a press conference.

Driving the news: Safadi said the prince had conspired with the former chief of the royal court, Bassem Awadallah, and former envoy to Saudi Arabia Hassan bin Zaid.

  • Price Hamzah's associates had been in contact with elements outside the country who define themselves as external opposition to King Abdullah II, while the prince had himself focused on inciting different tribes and elements of civil society within Jordan, according to Safadi.
  • Jordan's security forces had been monitoring the three, and intercepted calls and text messages they exchanged with people outside of the country about the best timing to take action to destabilize Jordan, Safadi claimed.
  • The security forces updated the king once they discovered that the conspirators planned to move from talk to action, Safadi claimed, and asked for his permission to act in response.
  • King Abdullah authorized the arrest of Prince Hamzah's associates but wanted to speak directly with the prince to try and solve their dispute inside the Hashemite family, Jordan’s foreign minister said.

The other side: Prince Hamzah on Saturday recorded a message in English and set it to the BBC. In it, he said the chief of staff of the Jordanian Army had arrived at his house and informed him he was not permitted to leave or communicate with others.

  • Hamzah denied involvement in any conspiracy and said the government had itself to blame for corruption and mismanagement.
  • Queen Noor, Prince Hamzah’s mother, tweeted several hours earlier in defense of her son. “Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander. God bless and keep them safe," he wrote.

Safadi accused Hamza of using the video to “mislead public opinion in Jordan and around the world and incite the citizens against the country."

  • Safadi added that a person with connections to a foreign security service had approached Prince Hamzah's wife and offered to arrange a private jet to escort her and her family to a foreign country.
  • "We are in control of the situation. Jordan's security is stable," Safadi said.

What’s next: Safadi said that the king still wants to solve Hamzah’s situation internally, and that Hamzah’s associates will be dealt with according to the law.

Go deeper

Apr 3, 2021 - World

Former Jordanian crown prince under house arrest for alleged attempted coup

Former Jordanian Prince Hamzah Bin al-Hussein attends the Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference on May 11, 2010 in Amman, Jordan. Photo: Salah Malkawi/Getty Images

Former Jordanian Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein was put under house arrest early Saturday after allegedly plotting a coup against his half brother King Abdullah, sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

Driving the news: Jordanian security forces arrested more than 20 former Jordanian officials, including former chief of the royal court Bassem Awadallah, Prince Hamza’s chief of staff Yasser Majali and former Jordanian envoy to Saudi Arabia Hassan Bin Zayed.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

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