Jordanian, Hamas Rapprochement Worries PA

Ad Feedback - RAMALLAH - Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are concerned about recent meetings between senior members of Hamas and Jordanian officials, which took place in Amman.

"We are trying to find out from our Jordanian brothers what's going on with Hamas," a senior PA official told Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh.

"We are worried by the reports in the Arab media about a rapprochement between Jordan and Hamas," he said.

"We are worried that talks with Hamas would give it legitimacy and turn it into a major player," he said. "We should just not forget that Hamas staged a [military] coup against the legitimate Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip," he said.

Meanwhile, Hamas representatives in Gaza said they weren't aware of recent plans for exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to visit Amman, but they hope he will be allowed to return to Jordan at some point.

The Hashemite Kingdom kicked Mashaal out about 10 years ago, calling him a risk to national security.

Hamas hopes Jordan will play a major role in resolving the conflict with Fatah, ending the economic blockade on Gaza, and in the issues facing Palestinians in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Gaza Strip.

"Jordan is an important player in the region," he said. "We believe that because of their good relations with the Israelis, Americans and Mahmoud Abbas's authority, they would be able to move things in the right direction," he said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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