I have to admit I was quiet shocked when I read the front page story of Al-Rai daily this morning. According to Jordanian officials, Hamas members have smuggled weapons into Jordan and have been "eyeing strategic locations in the kingdom." Here is the full story in English.
The question is why, and why now? Isn’t Hamas already fighting battles in their own backyard? Aren’t they currently being marginalized and facing intense pressure form the international community? What are they thinking, really? Another question: How will the Jordanian public react to this? Will Hamas’ popularity decrease in Jordan or will Jordanians brush this off as another conspiracy theory. I believe the latter is the most likely scenario. In this region, conspiracy theories are always, ultimately, the winner.
Meanwhile, I’ve noticed for the past two days that a number of Jordanian papers have been using the term "martyr" and "was martyred" in reference to the suicide bomber that blew himself up in Tel Aviv two days ago, killing nine civilians. With all due respect, in my humble opinion, I believe the Jordanian papers should be more responsible, staying away from the use of subjective terms to describe suicide bombers that kill unarmed civilians. Disclaimer: I do not mean to mock anyone’s beliefs. I’m making this point from a purely journalistic point of view.