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Report: Jordan To Revoke Citizenship Of Top Palestinian Officials

According to Arab media, Jordan has started the process of revoking the citizenship of high-ranking Palestinian Authority officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat. Amman also is purportedly making major changes to the visa arrangements for entry into Jordan, which would only grant the senior officials temporary visiting rights. Many Palestinian politicians, including Abbas and his two sons, received Jordanian passports over a decade ago; this, despite the fact that, concurrently, authorities in Amman were canceling the citizenship of thousands of other residents of the West Bank—which was under Jordanian control from 1948-1967—in order to “consolidate their Palestinian identity.” With millions of Palestinians living in Jordan, King Abdullah II has long viewed their presence as a demographic threat to his rule. Accordingly, restrictions have been placed on Palestinians, including those limiting their representation in the Jordanian parliament. While no reason was given for the apparent decision to strip the Palestinian officials of their Jordanian citizenship, there is speculation it may be a pressure tactic to force Abbas to reverse his decision to boycott the White House in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition in December of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Trump administration is eager to present a peace plan that has been in the works for over a year, but is purportedly holding back due to Abbas’ refusal to engage in any American-led initiative.