Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Asia > Jordan

Jordan

Yearbook 1997

Jordan. According to Countryaah, the 1994 peace agreement with Israel still did not give a concrete dividend and unemployment remained high. Support for Islamist movements grew, which worried King Hussein to such an extent that during the year he interrupted the progress towards democracy he initiated in 1989.

1997 Jordan

In March, the king dismissed Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Kabariti, according to some information due to disagreement between them about the country's policy towards Israel. Replacement was the former Prime Minister Abd as-Salam al-Majali, who later during the year led J's delegation in the peace talks with Israel.

In September, Israeli agents attempted to assassinate one of Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) leaders, Khalid Mashal, by stabbing a syringe at him on an open street in Amman. After pressure from King Hussein, Israel handed over an antidote that saved Mashal's life. The agents were arrested and the king could, in exchange for handing them over to Israel, cause Hamas's founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, to be released from Israeli prison along with some 50 other prisoners, mainly Palestinians. The drama led to increased support for both King Hussein and Hamas.

On November 4, Jordan went to election. The largest opposition party Islamic Action Front - the Muslim Brotherhood's political branch - and other parties called for a boycott in protest at the King's introduction of a new press law that forced 13 newspapers to close. The turnout was below 50%. The King's supporters won 62 of the 80 seats, while the rest of the seats went to independent nationalists and Islamists who stood outside the boycott.

That the Islamic Front of Action distanced itself from the country's political process worried analysts. The fact that the Islamists were sitting in Parliament was seen as a guarantee that they would not resort to violence, as they did in e.g. Egypt and Algeria where their movements are banned.

Following the parliamentary elections, the Islamic Action Front and eight other parties planned to launch a campaign to, among other things, stop the approach to Israel. However, the groups assured that they intended to use peaceful means.

In March, a Jordanian soldier shot seven Israeli schoolgirls on an outing at the border between the two countries. He was sentenced in July to life in prison for murder. That he was not sentenced to the death penalty was because the court judged him as mentally unstable.

Other Countries in Asia

Arist Countries Copyright 1997 - 2020 All Rights Reserved