Contributed by Lucia in Spain
From Daily Star
"Jordan's move to thaw relations with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) following nine years of estrangement has raised eyebrows as to the timing and the motives behind this tactic. Internal and external factors dictated the rapprochement amid growing Jordanian dismay at American and Israeli behavior - the kingdom's main strategic allies since the turn of the century. Hence, the timing bears significance considering the last months of President George W. Bush's tenure and Israel's political paralysis. On the other side, the Palestinian Authority (PA) led by Mahmoud Abbas looks headed toward failure in light of Hamas' pounding and US-Israeli indifference.....
Jordan's concerns are strategic. If the prospects for a Palestinian state diminish, it revives the old notion of the Jordan option, positing the kingdom as an alternative state for Palestinians. Jordan is home to 1.9 million Palestinian refugees - 41 percent of the UNRWA-registered refugees in the region and more than 50 percent of Jordan's population.
Jordan is not happy with the performance of Fatah, and Abbas has become a lame duck president pending new elections. There is a growing belief that the head of Hamas' political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, will become the next president, as Hamas seems bound to win any upcoming elections in the occupied Palestinian territories. But the call for dialogue came from Hamas, which has grown discontented with the increasing boundaries laid down by host countries such as Syria and Iran......"