Israel Vows to ‘Intensify’ Operations in Gaza’s Rafah

Jordanian security services have thwarted a bid by a foreign state-backed militia to smuggle arms to a cell in the kingdom, an official source quoted by state news agency Petra said on Wednesday.

The official was responding to a report published on the same day by Reuters, saying Jordan thwarted a plot to smuggle weapons intended for a Muslim Brotherhood cell in Jordan, which is connected to Hamas.

“The weapons were seized when members of the cell, all Jordanians, were arrested back in March,” the source told Petra, adding that “investigations and operations were ongoing to uncover more [details] related to the plot.”

The source also revealed that security bodies have foiled several attempts to smuggle weapons into the Kingdom in the past few months with the arms seized including, C4 and Semtex explosives, AK-47 rifles, 107mm Katyusha rockets, Claymore mines, among others.

The source’s statement to Petra aimed to contain the information published by Reuters. However, it used inconclusive phrases neither confirming nor denying whether the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan was involved in the smuggling plot.

In 2020, Jordan officially dissolved the group, which is currently operating under its political arm, the Islamic Action Front.

The Jordanian press had demanded clarification about the extent of the Brotherhood’s foreign contacts, particularly with Tehran and the Hamas military leadership in Gaza.

In a statement on Wednesday, Hamas affirmed it had nothing to do with any actions targeting Jordan and denied any interference in the internal affairs of other nations since it only targets Israel.

In early April, the Jordanian capital witnessed a resurgence in pro-Palestinian protests near the vacated Israeli embassy in the Rabiya area. Protesters chanted slogans that questioned the credibility of the official Jordanian position led by King Abdullah II.

The sit-ins were led by youths who were said to be affiliated with the Islamic movement in the country.

At the time, Jordanian anti-riot police arrested dozens of demonstrators, mainly belonging to nationalist and leftist parties, along with a number of young people from the Islamic Movement. Later, authorities released most detainees, but kept Brotherhood supporters in custody pending investigation.

At the time, Asharq Al-Awsat had quoted Jordanian officials saying they had evidence that a number of detained protesters were in contact, through intermediaries, with leaders of al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas in Gaza, and were receiving instructions aimed at carrying out mass protests against Jordan’s positions.

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