Jordanian King Abdullah II has sacked his intelligence chief along with other senior security officials, fearing a plot to destabilize the kingdom, according to a report.
The removals followed reports that several senior Jordanian officials were found to have planned mass demonstrations against Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, the Kuwaiti al-Qabas newspaper says.
General Intelligence Department Chief General Adnan al-Jundi was among the most influential officials to have been sacked by the king, along with other figures in the country’s defense establishment and police force.
Following the removals, the king explained that the measure came in response to reported shortcomings in the country’s intelligence apparatus, with some officials allegedly using their positions to advance personal interests at the expense of the kingdom.
Jordanian officials have said that they expect further changes to take place at the palace and in the country’s security apparatus.
The abrupt dismissal and concerns over instability come as Jordan fears Saudi Arabia’s recent push to normalize relations with the Israeli regime, in line with the US-proposed “deal of the century”, may greatly destabilize the kingdom.
The plan formulated by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will reportedly deny Palestinians any right to a sovereign Palestinian state while recognizing further Israeli rule over the occupied territories.
Jordanian officials have expressed concern that Riyadh may be seeking to compromise the special status of Jordan as the custodian of the Haram al-Sharif in East Jerusalem al-Quds and surrender the Palestinian right of return in order to achieve the deal.
“Half the population of Jordan are Palestinians and if there is official talk in Riyadh about ending the right of return, this will cause turmoil within the kingdom,” said a senior official close to the royal court in Amman speaking to the Middle East Monitor.
King Abdullah has strongly voiced his opposition to any plan compromising Palestinian right to return in recent months.
Although many Palestinians in Jordan have Jordanian citizenship and access to medical care, they are under-represented in parliament and have insignificant presence in the country’s security services.
Jordan countering Israel
Jordan’s heightened concerns over an impending Tel Aviv-Riyadh deal come as the country has recently taken a more vocal stance against Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
Earlier this week, reports emerged claiming that King Abdullah had ordered a review of the country’s controversial multi-billion-dollar deal to import natural gas from the Israeli-occupied territories.
Jordan has also recently warmed ties with Tehran. Last year, King Abdullah met with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani for the first time in 15 years.
Last month, Speaker of Jordan’s House of Representatives Atef Tarawneh and Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stressed the importance of Muslim unity against the Israeli regime during a meeting.
The Jordanian speaker said concerns over Israeli aggression on the al-Aqsa mosque make it necessary for Muslim states to pay special attention to the issue of Palestine.
King Abdullah has also recently expressed hope for improved relations with Syria and Iraq, hailing the improved security situation in the two countries.