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Jordan Likely to Restore Pro-U.S Bank Ban on Hamas -Sources

U.S. ally Jordan will most likely comply with Washington’s calls to reinstate a ban on banks dealing with six Palestinian Hamas officials despite domestic uproar, analysts and parliamentary deputies said on Wednesday. They said the kingdom would not jeopardize its political and economic interests with Washington — its major aid donor of an annual $450 million and with which it enjoys a free trade deal, the only Arab state to have secured such an agreement. Caught between a pro-Palestinian public and commitments to its pro-Israeli U.S. ally, Jordan chose to backtrack last week on a move to stop banks dealing with six officials from Hamas and five Palestinian charities abroad after public dismay. Washington criticized the reversal and urged Jordan to restore the ban, saying shutting off the flow of funds to Hamas was crucial in reducing its ability to conduct “terrorist” attacks and its activities that thwart the peace process. “The United States is more important to Jordan than Hamas,” said Faisal al-Rafouh, chairman of the Political Science department at the University of Jordan. Full Story

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