On Hamas’ Refusal to Join Jordan’s Inquiry

Hamas, which leads the Palestinian government, has refused to join a team heading to Amman this week to look into charges that its fighters smuggled arms into Jordan and were close to staging attacks.

Officials said on Sunday that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, informed Jordan that the government had turned down his request to join a committee he set up to examine with senior Jordanian officials the evidence they say backs up their charges. [source]

I think the government made a positive move in setting this all up. Politically speaking it goes to show that there is some incriminating evidence upon which their accusation is based on otherwise they wouldn’t open up the door that allowed them to present it to the accused and have it be examined and/or criticised.

It’s seems strange to me that Hamas would refuse to look at the evidence the Jordanian government has. It’s more or less a political opportunity for it to score points. First it can send the message that despite being accused by the Jordanian government that tried to give them the cold shoulder, it still pursued relations; hence the good guy stance it was trying to go for earlier. Second it’s a chance to actually view the “evidence” and challenge it, which will only solidify Hamas’s position that the government is indeed lying. Unless of course the evidence says something else and they already know that.

What’s more curious is the statement:

Joudeh said the Hamas-led government told Abbas that since Amman had accused its Syria-based leadership of masterminding the alleged smuggling it was more appropriate that Jordan talk with them rather than its Gaza-based leadership.

Does this imply there are two leaderships now and that every Hamas franchise is disconnected from the other and therefore is responsible only to itself? It’s a questionable statement to say the least.


  • From what I understood from the article, the “team” of investigators, is a Jordanian one (I might be wrong, I couldn’t find anything in the article to state to which country/organization they belong). I’m not surprised that HAMAS would refuse to be part of such an investigation as it cannot be sure that the findings will be fair if the investigation is conducted by the Jordanian government. It’s like asking Syria to participate in an investigation by the Lebanese government over the Hariri bombings. That would’ve been impossible and not very helpful; that is why the UN was enlisted to take on the investigation. There should be an independent impartial party to take on the investigation, and then HAMAS should definitely participate in the interest of clearing up the matter.

  • moi, it’s a Palestinian delegation which is heading to Amman to examine the evidence that the government is providing. i don’t think this is exactly an international matter to have the UN involved but i’ll grant that it’s a reasonable possibility.

  • First, this should not be an issue of Hamas accepting or refusing to participate in an investigation. The Hamas members concerned with this story are members of the Palestinian government and act in the framework of the Palestinian Authorities. News that report these stories must be careful to make that distinction. Never in the last decade or more have members of the Palestinian Authority when Fatah was in control been described as “Fatah meeting with so and so”. This is the one small comment I wanted to make clear first.

    Second, the Palestinian government should have accepted to participate in this investigation, especially knowing that Jordan is not really accusing the Palestinian government itself and is only accusing members of a Palestinian political party that live in Syria and are not members of the Palestinian government. If the weapons story really is true, then by refusing to participate in this investigation the Palesitnian government might have wasted its only chance to disassociate itself from the incident. They could have simply gone there and when confronted with evidence they could have simply said that they appologize for what the people in Syria have done and that they will do their best to prevent it in the future although they have no way of actually imposing that because they do not control what happens in Syria. But by refusing to cooperate, they are unable to do that now.

  • Nas, thanks for the clarification. I don’t think this an international matter either, and wouldn’t want the UN to get involved. But having an investigation committee from Jordan or the Palestinian Authority will most likely be faced with accusations of bias; a conflict of interest, if you wish.

    Hamzeh, I completely agree with your first point. I think the distinction has been made in the msm and by various political forces in an indirect way to delegitimize the Hamas government and/or try to encourage people to continue to view Hamas as a fringe group rather than a political party in power.

  • i agree with hamzeh , hamas loose the only chance to prove that its innocent , why hamas refuse to participate! as the jordanian gov said, this investigation to show all the evidence to the phlastinians authority and hamas, now hamas refuse to see the eveidence!
    what that crap?
    at the beging i has an doubt that hamas is invlove, but now am sure 100% that hamas is invloved in the case,and our gov is not lying caus its say i have evidiences and am gona show it to the phlastinian gov and authority.

  • I agree with Hamzeh, but why don’t we look at the other side of the story. If we are asking Hamas now to be part of the “informal” investigation to prove that it, as a government, was not evolved, why didn’t we expect our government to cooperate with the Palestinian Government, which happens to be Hamas, in dealing with a situation of Palestinian smuggling (if any!)?

    Why didn’t our government deal with Hamas and their minister in a professional political manner? I wonder, if it were Americans caught smuggling through Jordan, would our government then refuse a visit by Rice??????? Or would they, after assuring the strong Jordanian-American relationship, start a shared investigation with equal number of people representing each country?

    I don’t believe the whole story. But even if it turned out to be true, I cannot agree with the way our government dealt with it.

Your Two Piasters: