US embassy cable - 98AMMAN8578

JORDANIAN ISLAMISTS' RELATIONSHIP WITH HAMAS

Identifier: 98AMMAN8578
Wikileaks: View 98AMMAN8578 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 1998-09-21 12:53:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PINR PREL PTER KISL KWBG JO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 211253Z SEP 98
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9513
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 AMMAN 008578 
 
LONDON FOR SUTPHIN; PARIS FOR LEAF 
 
DEPT PASS TO USAID 
 
USAID/ANE/MEA FOR KIM FINAN AND PIRIE GALL 
 
E.O. 12958:  DECL: 9/8/08 
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, PREL, PTER, KISL, KWBG, JO 
SUBJECT:  JORDANIAN ISLAMISTS' RELATIONSHIP WITH HAMAS 
 
REF: A) AMMAN 8495; B) JERUSALEM 2594 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR WILLIAM J. BURNS FOR REASONS 
1.5 (B) AND (D) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  THE JORDANIAN MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD (MB) 
HAS BEEN OUTSPOKEN IN ITS PUBLIC PROTESTS OVER THE 
KILLING OF HAMAS MILITARY LEADERS IMAD AND ADEL 
AWADULLAH AND HAS SUGGESTED PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY 
COMPLICITY IN THEIR DEATHS.  THE MB OPENLY DECLARES ITS 
CLOSE TIES WITH HAMAS, BUT PRIVATELY, THE RELATIONSHIP 
APPEARS MORE COMPLICATED.  END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
LOCAL ISLAMIST RESPONSE TO AWADULLAH KILLINGS 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
2.  (U) THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD (MB) AND THE MB- 
AFFILIATED POLITICAL PARTY, THE ISLAMIC ACTION FRONT 
(IAF), HAVE PUBLICLY PROTESTED IN A NUMBER OF WAYS THE 
KILLINGS BY ISRAELI SECURITY FORCES OF HAMAS LEADERS 
IMAD AND ADEL AWADALLAH. 
 
- THE MB ORGANIZED A PUBLIC MEETING SEPTEMBER 13 TO 
DENOUNCE THE KILLINGS AND CALL FOR AN END TO PEACE 
AGREEMENTS WITH ISRAEL. 
 
- THE MB AND IAF ISSUED A PUBLIC STATEMENT CALLING FOR 
THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY TO END SECURITY COOPERATION 
WITH ISRAEL. 
 
- JORDANIAN ISLAMIST NEWSPAPER AL-SABEEL PRINTED A 
POSTER AND A FOUR-PAGE INSERT SEPTEMBER 15 DEDICATED TO 
THE AWADULLAH KILLINGS. 

- THE MB TRIED TO STAGE TWO RALLIES IN AL BAQA'A AND AL 
WIHDAT REFUGEE CAMPS SEPTEMBER 18 BUT WAS REFUSED 
PERMISSION.  THE JORDAN TIMES REPORTED THAT MB 
CONTROLLER GENERAL ABDUL MAJEED AL-THUNAYBAT AND 
PROMINENT MB MEMBER HAMZEH MANSOUR, SPEAKING AT FRIDAY 
PRAYERS IN THE CAMPS, CALLED FOR HAMAS TO AVENGE THE 
AWADULLAH MURDERS.  THEY ALSO CALLED FOR JIHAD (HOLY 
WAR) AGAINST ISRAEL TO "LIBERATE" JERUSALEM AND THE 
PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE PA. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
SUMMARY OF ISLAMISTS' PRESS STATEMENTS 
-------------------------------------- 
 
3.  (U) IN THE IAF STATEMENT, REPORTED SEPTEMBER 14 IN 
THE JORDAN TIMES: 
 
- THE IAF CALLED THE AWADULLAH KILLINGS "ONE MORE LINK 
IN A LONG CHAIN OF ISRAELI CRIMES AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF 
PALESTINE." 
 
- IT CALLED ON THE PALESTINIAN NATIONAL AUTHORITY TO 
RELEASE ALL POLITICAL DETAINEES, INCLUDING HAMAS 
MEMBERS, TO ABROGATE THE OSLO ACCORDS AND TO ALLOW 
RESISTANCE GROUPS TO STRUGGLE AGAINST ISRAELI 
OCCUPATION. 
 
- IT CALLED ON EGYPT AND JORDAN TO END THEIR PEACE 
ACCORDS WITH ISRAEL. 
 
4.  (U) JORDANIAN ISLAMIST NEWSPAPER AL-SABEEL'S FOUR 
PAGE SPECIAL INSERT SEPTEMBER 15 ABOUT THE KILLINGS 
INCLUDED: 
 
- AN INTERVIEW WITH AMER AWADULLAH, THE BROTHER OF THE 
TWO SLAIN HAMAS LEADERS, WHO IMPLIED PA COMPLICITY IN 
THE DEATHS. 
 
- AN ARTICLE QUESTIONING THE DENIAL OF JIBRIL AL- 
RUJOUB, COMMANDER OF THE PALESTINIAN PREVENTATIVE 
SECURITY UNIT, OF ANY CONNECTION TO THE KILLINGS. 
 
- AN ARTICLE CRITICIZING THE PA FOR BANNING ANY MENTION 
IN PALESTINIAN PAPERS OF HAMAS' CALL FOR A STRIKE IN 
MEMORY OF THE AWADULLAH BROTHERS. 
 
5.  (U) WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AL-HADATH ON SEPTEMBER 14 RAN 
AN AFP REPORT OF AN MB STATEMENT, IN WHICH THE MB HINTS 
MORE STRONGLY AT PA COMPLICITY: 
 
- THE MB DOUBTED "THE ZIONIST VERSION OF THE MARTYRDOM" 
OF HAMAS MILITARY LEADERS IMAD AND ADEL AWADALLAH. 
 
- IT QUESTIONED THE TIMING OF THE KILLINGS DURING SMEC 
DENNIS ROSS' VISIT. 
 
- IT SUGGESTED THE PA "MIGHT HAVE OFFERED THE HEADS OF 
IMAD AND ADEL TO GAIN A FLEXIBILITY FROM NETANYAHU, SO 
THAT HE WOULD ACCEPT THE US PROPOSAL" FOR A 13 PERCENT 
ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL FROM THE WEST BANK. 
 
6.  (U) AN UNNAMED 'HIGH PNA OFFICIAL', QUOTED IN 
SENSATIONALIST WEEKLY PUBLICATION AL-SHIHAN SEPTEMBER 
17, RETURNED THE ACCUSATIONS: 
 
- THE SOURCE CALLED THE JORDANIAN MB "IMPERIALIST 
STOOGES" WHO ARE "WORKING AGAINST ARAB, NATIONALIST AND 
PALESTINIAN CAUSES". 
 
- HE ACCUSED THE MB OF FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS FROM ITS 
INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP (WHICH HE SAID JUST MOVED FROM 
GERMANY TO THE U.S.) TO ADOPT ISRAELI SECURITY'S 
VERSION OF THE AWADULLAH KILLINGS WHICH IMPLICATES THE 
PA. 
 
- HE ACCUSED THE MB OF SPREADING THESE LIES TO ISOLATE 
THE PA BY DRIVING A WEDGE BETWEEN IT AND THE 
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE. 
 
THE AL-SHIHAN ARTICLE ALSO QUOTED MB CONTROLLER GENERAL 
ABDUL MAJEED AL-THUNAYBAT, TRYING TO CALM THE 
SITUATION, SAYING HE DOES NOT WANT A WAR OF WORDS WITH 
THE PA. 
 
---------------------------------- 
MB PICKS HAMAS OVER THE PA ANY DAY 
---------------------------------- 
 
7.  (C) THE MB HAS A LONG-TIME, PUBLIC AFFILIATION WITH 
HAMAS, DESPITE ITS DECLARED POLICY AGAINST THE USE OF 
VIOLENCE (REF B).  VIOLENT ACTS PERPETRATED BY HAMAS 
AGAINST ISRAELIS ARE, AS ISLAMIST MP ABDUL MAJEED 
AQTASH TOLD POLOFF SEPTEMBER 15, "A REVOLUTIONIST 
RESPONSE TO ISRAELI INJUSTICE, KILLING, OCCUPATION AND 
DESTRUCTION OF THE PALESTINIAN INFRASTRUCTURE."  AQTASH 
CALLED HAMAS "THE MILITARY WING FOR ALL MUSLIMS, NOT 
JUST THE MB". 
 
8.  (U) IN AN INTERVIEW PUBLISHED IN FILASTIN AL- 
MUSLIMAH (THE DATE OF THE INTERVIEW WAS NOT GIVEN BUT 
APPEARS TO BE EARLY AUGUST), THE INTERVIEWER ASKED 
JORDANIAN MB LEADER THUNAYBAT TO DEFINE THE 
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MB AND HAMAS.  THUNAYBAT 
RESPONDED, "WE CONSIDER OURSELVES ONE PEOPLE AND THUS 
ONE MOVEMENT...WE HAVE THE SAME CONCERNS AND THE SAME 
CAUSE...WE PRAY FOR THEM AND STRETCH OUR HANDS OUT TO 
THEM IN RESISTING AGAINST THE OCCUPATION AND IN WARDING 
OFF THE HARM FROM THE SONS OF OUR PEOPLE IN PALESTINE. 
AS FOR THE BROTHERS IN HAMAS, THEY ARE THE VANGUARD OF 
JIHAD IN OCCUPIED PALESTINE.  JIHAD IS ONE OF THE 
DUTIES IMPOSED UPON US BY GOD ALMIGHTY, AND IT IS ONE 
OF THE PILLARS ON WHICH THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD MOVEMENT 
WAS FOUNDED.  WE BACK AND SUPPORT OUR BROTHERS IN THIS 
BLESSED MOVEMENT WITH ALL THE POWER WE HAVE AND WILL 
ALL THE MATERIAL, MORAL AND INFORMATION SUPPORT WE CAN 
GIVE THEM." 
 
9.  (C) THUNAYBAT GIVES A ROSIER VIEW OF THE 
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MB AND HAMAS IN THIS PUBLIC 
STATEMENT THAN MB MEMBER AND INTELLECTUAL IBRAHIM 
GHARAIBEH (STRICTLY PROTECT) DESCRIBED TO POLOFF IN A 
CONVERSATION TWO MONTHS AGO.  GHARAIBEH, EDITOR OF THE 
ISLAMIC MAGAZINE AL-UMMAH, TOLD POLOFF JULY 14 THAT THE 
MB HAD DECIDED TO CEASE ALL RELATIONS WITH HAMAS UNTIL 
HAMAS RESOLVES A POWER STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE LEADERS 
INSIDE THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND OUTSIDE. 
 
10.  (C) GHARAIBEH SAID THE PALESTINIAN MB APPROACHED 
THE JORDANIAN MB IN THE 1980'S FOR ASSISTANCE TO FORM 
HAMAS.  THEY HAD AN AGREEMENT THAT HAMAS WOULD ONLY 
FUNCTION WITHIN PALESTINE AND REMAIN COMPLETELY 
SEPARATE FROM THE JORDANIAN MB, ALTHOUGH THE JORDANIAN 
MB WOULD PROVIDE SUPPORT (WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT WAS NOT 
CLARIFIED).  WHEN "GOVERNMENTS STARTED TO HARASS 
HAMAS", IT MOVED SOME OFFICES OUTSIDE OF THE OCCUPIED 
TERRITORIES FOR SELF-PRESERVATION.  ACCORDING TO 
GHARAIBEH, THESE OUTSIDE LEADERS, SUCH AS KHALID 
MISHA'AL IN JORDAN, BEGAN COMPETING WITH THE INTERNAL 
LEADERS, LIKE SHEIKH YASSIN, FOR CONTROL OVER THE 
ORGANIZATION.  GHARAIBEH SAID SHEIKH YASSIN HAS ASKED 
THE MB TO IGNORE DIRECTIVES FROM THE EXTERNAL LEADERS. 
 
11.  (C) GHARAIBEH SAID THE JORDANIAN MB OPPOSES HAMAS 
RECEIVING DECISIONS FROM OUTSIDE THE TERRITORIES.  IT 
WANTS IT TO BE A PURELY PALESTINIAN ORGANIZATION AND 
INDEPENDENT FROM ANY OUTSIDE SOURCE, INCLUDING THE 
JORDANIAN MB.  HE SAID THE MB DOES NOT WANT HAMAS TO 
BECOME LIKE NAYEF HAWATMA'S DEMOCRATIC FRONT FOR THE 
LIBERATION OF PALESTINE (DFLP) WHICH, ACCORDING TO 
GHARAIBEH, IS ACTIVE IN SYRIA, BUT HAS FEW FOLLOWERS IN 
THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES. 
 
12.  (C) COMMENT:  THE JORDANIAN REGIME, COGNIZANT OF 
THE WIDESPREAD PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THE POLICIES OF BOTH 
THE MB AND HAMAS, SEES NO ADVANTAGE IN OPENLY 
CRITICIZING THE MB OVER ITS DECLARATIONS OF SUPPORT FOR 
HAMAS.  IN THE MIND OF MOST JORDANIANS, TO BE ANTI- 
HAMAS IS TO BE ANTI-PALESTINIAN - A MONIKER THE REGIME 
SEEKS TO AVOID.  THE GOJ DOES, HOWEVER, CONTINUE TO 
MONITOR CAREFULLY LOCAL HAMAS LEADERS - THEIR CONTACTS, 
STATEMENTS AND ACTIVITIES - AND DOES NOT SHY AWAY FROM 
THREATENING HAMAS MEMBERS WHEN THEY HAVE OVERSTEPPED 
GOJ-IMPOSED REDLINES.  END COMMENT. 
 
 
BURNS 

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