Jordanian Gov’t Denies Ghosheh Stripped of Nationality
A Jordanian government source on Monday dismissed as groundless a local newspaper report claiming that authorities had revoked the Jordanian nationality of former Hamas spokesman Ibrahim Ghosheh.
"These allegations are not true," the source told the Jordan Times when asked to comment on an article that appeared in the local weekly Al Majd on Monday claiming that Ghosheh was stripped of his Jordanian nationality when he sought to renew his passport.
"Ghosheh is living in Amman as an ordinary Jordanian citizen," the source added.
Head of the Civil Status Department Awni Yarvas also said Ghosheh did not lose his nationality.
"Four days ago, Ghosheh applied to renew his passport. Being born in the West Bank, we had to solicit the approval of the Follow-up and Inspection Department before we could issue a new passport," Yarvas was quoted as telling the the Arabic language daily Al Arab Al Yawm on Monday.
"It is just a matter of procedures," added Yarvas.
Azzam Hneidi, president of the Jordan Engineers Association had declared in a statement late on Sunday that Ghosheh, a founding member of the union, was threatened with losing his Jordanian nationality when he applied to renew his passport.
"When Ghosheh applied, he was told that he would not be able to retain his five-year passport (which gives him full citizenship rights) and that it would be replaced with a two-year passport (which serves as a travel document)," Hneidi said.
After Jordan severed administrative and legal ties with the West Bank in 1988, it replaced most five-year passports issued to Palestinians with two-year travel documents to facilitate their travel.
By the same token, the passports of many Palestinian National Authority officials, who had five-year passports, were also replaced by two-year travel documents after Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo peace accords.
Hneidi's declaration came a day after Ghosheh, 67, appeared as a guest of honor at a packed anti-Israel rally, organized after Friday prayers by the Muslim Brotherhood in Amman.
The former Hamas spokesman was not available for comment when contacted by the paper.
But family members confirmed Hneidi's claims.
Ghosheh was allowed entry into Jordan on June 30, 19 months after he was deported to Doha along with three of his colleagues in Hamas.
They all hold the Jordanian citizenship.
Al Majd also claimed that authorities "secretly" stripped his three other colleagues of Jordanian nationality.
After Ghosheh spent 15 nights at the transit lounge of Queen Alia International Airport, he accepted government prerequisites that he should freeze his organizational links with the Palestinian group.
Hamas, active in the Palestinian territories since it was founded in 1987, had enjoyed official recognition in Amman until the authorities cracked down on it in August 1999. Hamas opposed the PA's peace agreements with Israel – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)