The times they are a changin’….to an earlier point in time…
AMMAN Ã¢?? The government on Monday said it renewed last week Hamas politburo chief Khaled MishaalÃ¢??s passport upon his request.
Ã¢??Mr Mishaal holds a Jordanian passport… he submitted a request to renew his passport and it was approved,Ã¢?Â Government Spokesperson Nasser Judeh told a weekly press briefing yesterday. Ã¢??The passport was renewed last week.Ã¢?Â
In 1999, the government detained and later expelled Mishaal and three other Hamas officials Ã¢?? all Jordanian citizens Ã¢?? to Qatar after the four refused to abandon their links with the Palestinian group.
Mishaal survived an assassination attempt by Mossad agents in 1997, when they, disguised as Canadian tourists in Amman, injected poison into his ear. King Hussein forced then-Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hand over the antidote. The agents were arrested and exchanged for an official Israeli apology and the release of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and 19 other prisoners.
Syria-based Mishaal was named political chief of Hamas in 2004 following IsraelÃ¢??s assassination of Sheikh Yassin. Earlier this year, the government said it arrested 20 Hamas members suspected of plotting attacks in Jordan and seized weapons, including Iranian-made Katyusha rockets. [Jordan Times]