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Hussein Grants Citizenship to the Former Mayor of Gaza

King Hussein of Jordan Wednesday granted Jordanian citizenship to the former Mayor of Gaza, Rashad A-Shawa, and six members of his family.

Residents of Gaza have no citizenship and travel on special refugee papers. Shawa received his citizenship in appreciation for his support of Hussein’s policies, according to a statement issued in Amman, Jordan.

Shawa supported Hussein’s February 1986 split with the Palestine Liberation Organization and said the silent majority of Palestinians backed Hussein’s demands that the PLO change its position on the peace process.

As a result, Shawa was several times the victim of sabotage attempts. Two weeks ago, Israeli security forces safely detonated an explosive charge placed outside a car inspection center he owned.

The former Mayor met recently with Premier Shimon Peres, discussing ideas for a settlement. He spent several weeks in Amman, where he made pro-Jordanian and anti-PLO statements. Shawa complained that the policy of the PLO had led the Palestinian people nowhere, and it was time to examine other options.

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