Palestine PFLP terrorists in Jordan, early 1969. (Wikimedia Commons) (Wikimedia Commons)
Black September PFLP

This Israeli expert says the Palestinians are responsible for the only real coup attempt in Jordan, dismissing recent reports of a failed attempt to overthrow the king.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Israel’s former ambassador to Jordan, Dr. Oded Eran, said Wednesday that recent reports about an attempted coup in Jordan are misleading.

According to Eran, Jordan is currently stable and the only time the country’s ruling regime was really threatened was by the Palestinians.

“We have recently heard of a failed coup attempt in the Kingdom of Jordan, allegedly planned by King Abdullah’s half-brother, Prince Hamzah,” said Eran, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “But was there really an attempt at a military coup, or were we witness to the King’s attempt to consolidate his status as the uncontested ruler of Jordan?”

“In the century of its existence, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has experienced dramatic events, such as the wars with Israel in 1948 and 1967, the peace with Israel in 1994, and five waves of refugees that flooded it,” Eran said in a series of tweets.

“But only once in these 100 years, 1970, was Jordan in danger of being taken over – by the PLO, with the help of Syria,” he said of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which was designated as a terror group into the 1990s.

Eran is an expert on Jordanian affairs and during his decades-long career, he served as Israel’s first ambassador to Jordan, following the peace treaty in 1994.

Eran also served as ambassador to the European Union and NATO and headed Israel’s peace negotiations team with the Palestinians.

Eran’s reference to the PLO’s activity’s in Jordan relates to Black September, the attempt by Yasser Arafat’s terror group to take over Jordan and expand its use of Jordanian territory as a launching pad for attacks on Israel.

Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad, father of the current dictator Bashar al-Assad, threw his support behind the Palestinian terrorists.

The Palestinians had tried several times to assassinate King Hussein, and in September of 1970 they hijacked three airplanes, landed them in Jordan, took off the passengers and then blew up the planes. Using his country for international terror forced King Hussein to take action and expel the PLO before they destroyed his country.

The ensuing civil war left over 4,000 dead and saw the PLO kicked out of Jordan and Lebanon, where they helped bring that country to civil war.

Eran said that compared to Black September, “It is doubtful whether the recent events can be considered an attempted coup. Indeed, the regime is careful not to accuse the prince of subversion against them.”

So what really happened in Jordan this week? Eran says Prince Hamzah fired some heavy criticism at Jordan’s government, accusing it, but not his brother the king, of corruption and inability to address Jordan’s current economic crisis.

“To sum up: there was criticism from the royal family, perhaps accompanied by personal frustration, but the rule of King Abdullah II was not threatened,” Eran concluded.

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