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Jordan monarch's comments on Palestinians raise tensions in kingdom

The Jordanian media censored an interview King Abdullah gave to The Washington Post, where he said 96% of Islamic State terrorists captured and killed last year were of Palestinian origin, which provoked confusion in the kingdom.
Jordan's King Abdullah arrives the opening ceremony of the first ordinary session of 18th Parliament in Amman, Jordan November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed - RTX2SB9H

While speaking with the local media, King Abdullah typically repeats national talking points on political reform. When addressing foreign audiences, he frequently adopts a different approach: bluntly assessing the country’s challenges and even violating sacred taboos. The Hashemite monarch’s recent interview with The Washington Post followed the same pattern.

In a surprising remark, Abdullah noted in the April 6 interview, “In 2016, for the first time, we captured and killed 40 [Islamic State] terrorists in two major incidents. Ninety-six percent of them were of Palestinian origin.” He added, “So if we don’t move the Israeli-Palestinian process forward, that is a major recruiting [opportunity] for disenfranchised and frustrated people.”

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