30th March – 5th April

Jordan’s King Abdullah has sworn in a new government tasked with pushing through austerity measures required under a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

Jordan’s King, Abdullah II, and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, on March 31th signed an agreement confirming the historical role of Jordan as guardian of the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem. They stressed, according to a press release from Amman, their « common goal to defend » Jerusalem and its holy sites, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the scene of frequent incidents between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, against any « attempt of Judaization ».

The exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, popular and charismatic, was renewed without surprise, on Monday 1st april, in Cairo at the head of the Palestinian Islamist movement to cope with changes and uncertainties affecting the Middle East.

The charges of Wednesday April 3, against another comedian actor for ‘defaming religion’ are part of an alarming new escalation of politically-motivated judicial harassment and arrests, Amnesty International has said. In a mounting crackdown on freedom of expression, up to 33 people have been targeted within the last two weeks, with arrests and charges.

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, will meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday in Amman, in the context of a new tour in the region, a Palestinian official in Ramallah has announced on Wednesday 3th April (West Bank).

The Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, has been officially confirmed as deputy chief of the Islamist movement, has announced on Thursday a senior officer of Hamas.