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Jordan's New Prime Minister Forms Government

Jordan's new Prime Minister Hani Mulki formed his government on Wednesday to prepare for legislative elections following the dissolution of parliament, the royal palace announced.

The 65-year-old, who has held several ministerial posts, is expected to push for business-friendly policies to revive Jordan's lagging economy.

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HRW Urges Jordan to Ease Transit for Gaza Palestinians

Human Rights Watch urged Jordan Monday to lift recent "restrictions" on transit through its territory of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, but the authorities in Amman denied any policy change.

Since August 2015, "Palestinians from Gaza have found it increasingly difficult to get permission to transit through Jordan to travel abroad, without any explanation for the change," HRW's Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson wrote in a letter to the Jordanian authorities.

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More than 60,000 Syrians Stranded at Jordan Border

Around 64,000 Syrians are stranded at the border with Jordan after intensified violence around Aleppo, Jordanian border guards said on Thursday.

The kingdom, which is already home to more than 630,000 Syrian refugees, introduced additional security checks at the Hadalat and Rokbane border crossings at the start of the year, leading tens of thousands more to congregate along the frontier.

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Jordan Says 50,000 Syrians Stranded on Border

Around 50,000 Syrians are stranded in no-man's land along the border with Jordan, a three-fold increase since January because of increased security checks, state news agency Petra reported Monday.

The agency, quoting government spokesman Mohamed Momani, said the estimated 50,000 refugees were massed around the desert border posts of Hadalat and Rokban.

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Jordan Summons Envoy over Iran 'Meddling'

Jordan on Monday summoned its ambassador in Iran for consultations over what Amman said was the Islamic republic's "meddling in Arab affairs," a government spokesman said.

Mohamed Momani, who is also the kingdom’s information minister, said Jordan's envoy would return to Amman for "discussions".

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Jordan Shuts down more Muslim Brotherhood Offices

Jordanian security services on Thursday pressed ahead with closures of offices of the Muslim Brotherhood, the kingdom's main opposition force, which vowed to fight the measure in the courts.

Brotherhood spokesman Badi al-Rafaia said its offices were sealed off with red wax in the towns of Mafraq, 70 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Amman, and Madaba, 30 kilometers (30 miles) to the south of the capital.

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Jordan Security Services 'Shut Muslim Brotherhood HQ'

Jordanian security services on Wednesday closed the Amman headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's main opposition force, which denounced the move as politically motivated.

Previously tolerated for decades in Jordan, the Brotherhood has had tense relations with the authorities since the Arab Spring uprisings that shook the region in 2011.

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Jordan Says to Install Cameras at Jerusalem Mosque Compound in Days

Jordan said on Sunday it will set up security cameras around Jerusalem's flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque compound in the coming days to monitor any Israeli "violations."

In October, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed a plan to install cameras at the site in a bid to calm repeated disturbances, after talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed.

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Jordan Journalist Held Incommunicado in UAE, Says Rights Group

A Jordanian journalist has been detained for nearly two months in the United Arab Emirates without access to his family or a lawyer, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

The watchdog said Tayseer al-Najjar, 42, was arrested late last year in Abu Dhabi while attempting to board a flight home, and has not been heard from since he appeared in court on December 13.

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U.N. Refugee Chief 'Understands' Jordan Security Fears

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Monday he fully understands the security concerns which have led Jordan to limit the flow of refugees entering the country from war-torn Syria.

"We have full appreciation and understanding for Jordan's security concerns," the UNHCR chief said on a visit to Zaatari refugee camp, near the Syrian border 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Amman.

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