Despite unity deal, Jordan won’t let Hamas reopen Amman office — report

The Jordanian government will not allow the Palestinian terror group Hamas to reopen its offices in the kingdom, despite a recently inked reconciliation deal between rival Palestinian factions, a leading Jordanian daily reported on Thursday.

In the hopes of ending a 10-year Palestinian rift, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, signed a reconciliation agreement last week in Cairo with the Fatah party, which controls the Palestinian Authority.

The Jordanian government, however, reportedly does not see the deal as a legitimate reason to allow Hamas to reopen its offices in the country, which were closed in 1999.

“Hamas’s offices will not be reopened in the kingdom,” the Al-Ghad daily reported, citing what it called an official source.

“Hamas is a Palestinian party and movement and its place and work are in Palestine and on Palestinian lands,” the source added.

The source also said there is a law in Jordan that non-Jordanian parties are not permitted to open branches on Jordanian territory.

Hamas’s political leadership, once based in Amman, was expelled from the kingdom by King Abdullah II in one of his first moves after coming to power in 1999. With brief exceptions, Hamas leadership has not been allowed back.

The Hamas leadership at the time was accused of meddling in the kingdom’s internal affairs.

More than half of Jordan’s population is of Palestinian origin, though the exact number is unknown.

The Al Ghad report said that question of whether Hamas would be allowed back into the Hashemite kingdom in the shadow of a reconciliation deal had been asked frequently as of late.

Hamas’s leadership was most recently based in Qatar, but was expelled from the Gulf country in June after pressure from regional neighbors.

For the first time since the terror group’s founding, Hamas’s most senior leaders are currently living inside the Gaza Strip.

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