Hamas makes contacts to settle crisis with Jordan
Jordan, Politics, 9/1/1999
An official source in the Hamas movement on Monday told Monte Carlo Radio that contacts are being made by certain Jordanian sides to settle the new crisis between Hamas and the Jordanian government, adding that contacts are being made by the Muslim Brothers movement in Jordan in this regard.
The sources added that the Jordanian measures, which included arrests of several Hamas members and the closure of Hamas' offices in Jordan, came just before the arrival of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to the region.
The sources said the arrest also coincided with the visit made by certain Hamas leaders to Tehran, which opposes the peace process.
Monte Carlo Radio's correspondent in Tehran said these matters added an extra political dimension to the Jordanian measures, according to observers. The correspondent indicated that the visit of Hamas leaders to Iranian officials came after the meeting with Iranian President Muhammad Khatami in the Iranian embassy in Damascus during Khatami's recent visit to Damascus, a visit which provoked great regret from the US administration.
On the other hand, one of Hamas' leaders in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, said the stand of the Hamas movement, as testified by all, is non-interventionist in the affairs of any of the Arab states in which the movement has offices, adding that Hamas has kept such a policy in Jordan and in other countries.
In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, al-Zahar said the arrest operations in Amman of the movement's members need explanations, expressing hope that this arrest campaign will stop, and the result of the investigations will be in compliance with Hamas's stand. He added that Hamas will not be greatly affected by the closure of its offices in any part of the Arab states in which it exists.
Replying to question on whether the five prominent figures of Hamas who are in Iran will return despite these measures, he said, "They themselves will decide on this matter."
Al-Zahar added, "We are not entitled to enter new prisons. It is enough what we are suffering now in prisons and we hope they (Hamas in Jordan) can rearrange their relations with the Jordanian government."
Al-Zahar added, "Arresting those persons is of a limited adverse impact on the movement, because the body of this movement is inside (Palestine), and the leadership of Hamas can arrange their matters from the inside (Palestine). He added that the closure will not much affect the movement's policy.
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