Jordan Bars Qatari Plane’s Crew from Heading Home
Jordanian security authorities on Friday barred from returning home the remaining crew of the Qatar Airways plane grounded at Amman airport since landing there last week with a Hamas leader on board.
The Qatari ambassador to Amman, Abdul Rahman bin Jassem Al Thani, told Al Jazeera satellite channel over phone that security agents at Queen Alia Airport blocked the way of his car as he was taking the crew to board a Gulf Air flight back home.
The envoy protested against what he called “forced withholding of Qatari citizens against their will,” a violation to international norms. He said the authorities had no right to stop his car which had a diplomatic plate number and a Qatari flag posted at its front.
He added that he was not told the ban was a mere postponement of the crew’s return.
Qatar's cabinet demanded Wednesday the immediate return of the Qatar Airways plane that it said has been illegally grounded at Amman airport.
The cabinet, at its weekly meeting, expressed "regret for the continued grounding of the Qatar Airways plane by Jordanian authorities, which is contrary to international conventions," the QNA news agency reported, cited by AFP.
It demanded the "immediate return of the plane and the remaining crew members,” denouncing "statements by our brothers in Jordan that do not serve the interests of fraternal interests between the two countries."
Three crew remain in Amman after five air stewardesses returned to Doha on Tuesday aboard a Gulf Air flight, Qatar's Al-Watan newspaper reported.
Hamas spokesman Ibrahim Ghoshe flew into Queen Alia Airport unexpectedly last Thursday from his exile in Doha aboard the Qatari Airways plane. He was refused entry into Jordan and the aircraft has since been grounded.
Jordanian Information Minister Saleh Qallab said Sunday that Ghoshe, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, would stay at the airport until Qatar flies him back to his exile in the Gulf emirate.
Jordan has repeatedly said Ghoshe would be allowed to return to Amman only if they renounced his Hamas membership.
In Damascus, meanwhile, a Hamas communiqué called for Ghoshe's release, saying he was in poor health and in need of constant medical care.
It said Ghoshe, 65, "suffers from hypertension and other maladies requiring permanent treatment under medical supervision.
Keeping him at the airport for the past six days and not admitting him to hospital could be "dangerous for his health," the statement said.
But Qallab said in response that the Islamist was in good health and under medical care.
Hamas also criticized Amman for refusing to allow Ghoshe to see his lawyers and called for the government to "put an end to this unjust sequestration." – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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