In a surprise move, Jordan has decided to revoke the Jordanian citizenship of Palestinian Authority and PLO officials, sources in Amman disclosed Wednesday.In 1988, all Palestinian Arabs who lived in the west bank of the Jordan lost their citizenship. I don't know if PLO officials were granted exceptions at that time, but last year there were reports that Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Fatah officials were granted Jordanian nationality.
The sources said that the decision would also affect the leaders of the PA, who would be granted temporary Jordanian passports to facilitate their travel.
The move coincides with a new electoral law in Jordan that seeks to limit Palestinian representation in parliament.
The latest steps are seen in the context of Jordan's 1988 decision to sever all legal and administrative ties with the West Bank, except for Jordanian sponsorship of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
The late King Hussein then justified the move by arguing that it was intended to help the Palestinians establish their own independent state.
The Jordanians have defended the decision to strip Palestinians of their Jordanian citizenship by explaining that it is aimed at "preserving the Palestinians' national identity and paving the way for their return to Palestine."
It's not known at this stage if PA President Mahmoud Abbas would be stripped of his Jordanian citizenship, the sources told the Saudi newspaper Al-Madina.
In other words, they say publicly that they support keeping Palestinian Arabs stateless - for their own good, of course - but in private they held on to their Jordanian citizenship for dear life.
UPDATE: Jordan denies the story (h/t Challah Hu Akbar)