AMMAN, Jordan, April 12 (UPI) -- In a move to restrict Palestinian representation in Parliament, Jordan plans to revoke the citizenship of some Palestinians, officials said.
The decision coincides with a new electoral law, The Jerusalem Post said Thursday.
The move will affect Palestinian Authority officials as well as members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, The Post said. Palestinian leaders will receive temporary Jordanian passports to facilitate travel. Nearly half of the Hashemite Kingdom's 6 million people are of Palestinian origin, The Post said.
The daily also quoted the Jordanian newspaper al-Arab al-Yawm in which Jordanian government officials in Amman said the decision to revoke Jordanian citizenship will affect some 1.6 million Jordanians of Palestinian origin.
Sources in Amman told the Saudi newspaper al-Madina it is unclear whether Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be stripped of his Jordanian citizenship. Jordanian Interior Minister Mohammed al-Raud is expected to visit Ramallah to inform the Palestinian leadership of the decision, the Saudi paper said.
The Post said the steps are rooted in a 1988 decision to sever legal and administrative ties with the West Bank except for the country's sponsorship of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. At the time the late King Hussein said the move would help the Palestinians establish an independent state and preserve their national identity.
A report published by forcedmigration.org on its Web site called Palestinian Refugees in Jordan says following the 1948 Arab–Israeli war, approximately 900,000 Palestinian refugees fled their towns and villages. The vast majority went to neighboring Arab countries, including Jordan, which in 1950 formally annexed the West Bank.
Another wave of Palestinian refugees fled to Jordan as a consequence of the 1967 war when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza along with other Arab territories. The annexation of the West Bank and the refugee flows into Jordan transformed its demographics, tipping the balance in favor of a Palestinian majority.