King of Jordan speaks of ‘pain and anger’ in first comments on rift with half-brother

The king of Jordan has publicly addressed the public feud with his half-brother, Prince Hamza, for the first time.

It comes after the Jordanian regime said that Hamza was involved in a “malicious plot” against the kingdom’s security with foreign support.

King Abudllah II has released a written statement, saying: “The challenge of the last few days was not the hardest or the most dangerous to the stability of our nation, but it was the most painful because those who are party to the sedition were from our own home.”

The statement went on: “Nothing can come close to the shock and the pain and anger I felt, as a brother, and head of the Hashemite family, and as a leader to this dear people.”

The king added that his half brother was “with his family at his palace, under my care”.

Social media users and all news outlets in the country have been banned from publishing anything about Hamza.

It follows his video message posted on Saturday 3 January, in which he said he was under house arrest and accused Jordan’s leaders of incompetence and corruption.

On Monday, he made an apparent U-turn and pledged allegiance to King Abdullah after mediation by the royal family.

Hamza and Abdullah share a father, King Hussein – who died in 1999 – but have different mothers.

Abdullah named Hamza as crown prince and next in line to the throne upon their father’s death. But he rescinded this appointment in 2004.

As many as 18 other people have been arrested since the feud emerged, and there has been no sign from authorities that they have been released.

Some of those arrested were members of the powerful tribes which play an important part in Jordan’s political system.

In a statement, the Majali tribe said that one of the men was arrested at the house of a tribal sheikh – something that is against tradition.

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