The fights in 2017.
Questions and suspicion now embody three deaths of US military operatives in Jordan. Now, decide for yourself which is sketchier. That the men were working for the CIA, or their alleged killer was a man in Jordanian uniform? Despite an ongoing government terrorism investigation, news is as discreet as their Jordanian mission.
According to the Washington Post, this represents the deadliest CIA-involved incident since 2009. Sources claim the men were ambushed while en route to a Jordanian military training facility.
Jordan’s status as an important regional ally deeply sensitizes the incident. It’s now confirmed that the Americans received fire from a Jordanian soldier, shortly after their convoy was allowed through a security gate. As of yet, FBI can’t rule out the possibility of a “mistake” having occurred. The Jordanian government is launching a parallel, independent inquiry.
The prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar was murdered on September 25, 2016, as he entered an Amman court to stand trial for insulting religion.
Authorities arrested Hattar on August 13, after he posted an anti-ISIS cartoon to his Facebook page in which the cartoonist depicted God’s face. Following the posting, Prime Minister Hani al-Mulqi ordered Interior Minister Salama Hammad to investigate Hattar, leading the next day to his arrest. He was held in Marka Prison until September 8, then released on bail. Local media extensively reported on the case, though the authorities on August 14 issued a gag order on further reporting.
Appalling Conditions, Little Food in Barren Border Area
The United States should help Jordan transfer an estimated 70,000 Syrians stuck in appalling conditions at its northeastern border to a safe location, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to President Barack Obama that was released today. The United States should also step up its efforts to resettle Syrians who are living in Jordan and other neighboring countries.
“It is critically important to help Jordan find a solution to move these highly vulnerable people to a safe place where they can be screened for security concerns and protection needs,” said Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at Human Rights Watch. “We are urging President Obama not only to help Jordan increase its capacity to provide asylum, but also to step up efforts to resettle the refugees in the US and to encourage other countries to do the same.”
Resume Food, Water, Medical Care for Asylum Seekers
Jordan should immediately allow humanitarian agencies to resume life-saving aid deliveries to 70,000 Syrians stuck in appalling conditions at its northeastern border. The authorities should also resume procedures allowing Syrians to leave the border area for refugee screening in Jordan.
Jordan suspended almost all aid to the 70,000 people, mostly children and women, on June 21, 2016. The action followed an attack by the extremist armed group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, on a nearby border post that killed seven Jordanian soldiers and wounded 13.
The Gazans have been abandoned and left in the hands of Hamas to do with them as they please. This policy is transforming Gaza slowly but steadily into a hotbed of radicals.
As Palestinians commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Nakba, “catastrophe” in Arabic, when the indigenous people of Palestine were driven into exile and the Israeli State was established, a new Nakba takes place. This new Nakba is the political division between Hamas and Fatah.
The day to day life of the people of Gaza is best represented by the running joke: “Police have arrested a Gazan who has hope”. No hope. No future.
The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt recently opened for two days after a three-month closure. Registered travelers numbered at more than 30,000, but Egyptian border security only allowed 747 into Egypt. A journey, which under usual circumstances should only take five minutes by bus or one hour, including bureaucratic procedures, now takes over 24 hours sometimes 48 hours, leaving hundreds of Palestinians in prison-like areas inside the Egyptian side of the Rafah border, a violation of basic human rights.
Egypt ruled Gaza from 1948 until 1967. Since then, Gazans have attended Egypt’s universities, creating a strong bond with Egypt over time. Nowadays, Egypt’s narrative has changed, and Gazans are treated as enemies.
Restrictions Block Educational, Economic Opportunity
Jordan should facilitate travel for Palestinians seeking to travel from Gaza to third countries, Human Rights Watch said in a letter released today to Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour. A recent apparent tightening of criteria for transit has blocked access to professional and educational opportunities abroad, including for Gaza’s young people struggling with the effects of an Israeli-imposed closure.
“Jordan has gone to great lengths to accept and meet the needs of large numbers of refugees from across the region,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director. “Since last August, however, Palestinians from Gaza have found it increasingly difficult to get permission to transit through Jordan to travel abroad, without any explanation for the change.”