Tension between Palestinians and indigenous Jordanians, known as
Hashemites, have been reported at soccer matches. On July 18, anti-riot
police prevented an attack by thousands of Hashemite fans of a visiting
Palestinian soccer team in Zarqa. The Hashemite fans were said to have
chanted curses against the PLO and Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque.
Palestinian sources in Jordan said the crackdown began in wake of the
formation of an Israeli government led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
in March 2009. The sources said the kingdom became fearful of the prospect
of Palestinian unrest amid a stalemate between Israel and the Palestinian
"The feeling among many Palestinians is that the king [Abdullah] is
working with Netanyahu against us, even though the government here says the
opposite," a Palestinian union activist said.
"Our goal is to prevent Israel from emptying the Palestinian territories
of their original inhabitants," Al Kadi said.
The sources said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has urged Jordan to rescind
the decision. But they said the king refused.
For his part, Al Kadi said Palestinians whose citizenship was revoked
would not be expelled from Jordan. The minister said those Palestinians
affected by the decree were PA and PLO employees, whose Jordanian passports
"We're not expelling anyone, nor are we revoking the citizenship of
Jordanian nationals," Al Kadi said. "We are only correcting the mistake that
was created after Jordan's disengagement from the West Bank [in 1988]. We
want to highlight the true identity and nationality of every person."