Following Egypt’s lead, Jordan has closed its gates to Hamas’s leadership, denying entry to the movement’s political head Khaled Mashaal, Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on Tuesday.
Citing “extremely knowledgeable Palestinian sources in Ramallah,” the London-based newspaper claimed that Mashaal has repeatedly sought to enter Jordan in recent months to meet with officials, but Amman never replied. The sources explained the move as Jordanian coordination with the new Egyptian regime, which shuns the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian affiliate Hamas.
Egypt has engaged in a massive crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi on July 3. Morsi’s replacement by a transitional government largely controlled by the military establishment headed by Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has significantly improved Egyptian-Jordanian ties, which had soured under the Muslim Brotherhood regime.
“The sources said that Hamas has become unwelcome in Amman, Cairo and Riyadh since the movement is accused of harming Egypt’s national security,” the article read. “Intelligence agencies in these countries have evidence of Hamas’s involvement in events that harmed Egyptian national security.”
Egypt’s political leadership, once based in Amman, was expelled from the kingdom by King Abdullah in one of his first moves after coming to power in 1999. However, Mashaal was allowed to visit Jordan a number of times in 2012, even meeting with the king.
Mashaal may be allowed to enter Jordan in the future, the source said, if progress is achieved in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and Hamas’s compliance with a possible agreement is needed.
Meanwhile, Mashaal’s deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk criticized Egypt on Sunday for the closure of its border with the Gaza Strip amid one of the worst storms in Gaza in decades. Egypt, the Hamas official accused, was preventing the reactivation of Gaza’s single power plant with diesel sent as a gift by Qatar.