Abbas receives Jordanian citizenship

Feb. 9, 2011 at 8:17 AM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Jordanian citizenship has been given to senior Palestinian Authority officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas and his sons, a Jordanian politician said.

The move to award senior Palestinian officials citizenship comes despite a decision by authorities in Amman to revoke the Jordanian citizenship of thousands of Palestinians, Atef Tarawneh, deputy speaker of the Jordanian Parliament said, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

A significant number of senior Palestinian officials are registered as full Jordanian citizens, the London based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper. The officials received citizenship at the same time they urged Jordan to stop giving Palestinian Jordanians citizenship, so they could consolidate their Palestinian identity, the Arab language newspaper said.

It noted that Abbas and his entire family have Jordanian citizenship as well as other senior Palestinian officials such as Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan and Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

Tarawneh said he rejected the government's decision to strip Palestinian Jordanian citizens of their citizenship and in a recent meeting with King Abdullah warned him against the repercussions such a decision would have, the Post said.

Tarawneh said many Jordanian-Palestinian businessmen who live abroad are afraid to return home for fear that their citizenship will be confiscated, The Jerusalem Post said.

Earlier this month a report issued by the Human Rights Watch called on Jordan to stop revoking the nationality from Jordanians of Palestinian origin, saying the authorities stripped more than 2,700 people of their nationality between 2004 and 2008.

Jordan captured the West Bank in 1949 and in 1950 extended sovereignty there granting all residents Jordanian nationality, the report said.

In 1988 the late King Hussein severed legal and administrative ties to the West Bank, withdrawing Jordanian nationality from all Palestinians who resided there at the time, the human rights organization said.

Other Jordanians of West Bank origin who were not living in the West Bank at the time were not affected, the report said.

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