Palestinians closely watch Jordan's power shift
Web posted at: 3:32 p.m. EST (2032 GMT)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNN) -- Some Palestinians say the fact that the newly designated successor to the Jordanian throne is married to one of their own puts a positive twist on the complicated Jordanian-Palestinian relationship.
Others, however, counter that the marriage of Jordan's Crown Prince Abdullah and Princess Rania, from the Palestinian West Bank town of Tulkarm, will not play a big role in the checkered relations between the two peoples.
"I don't think this is a factor in political thinking. King Hussein was also married to a Palestinian woman at a time when his conflict with the Palestinians was at a climax," said Azmi Bishara, a Palestinian political analyst.
Jordan's ailing King Hussein named the 37-year-old Abdullah crown prince last week, replacing the king's brother, Hassan, who had served in that position for 34 years.
Palestinian guerrillas once used Jordan as a base for operations against Israel -- triggering a major showdown with the king, who saw a threat to his throne.
Since then, the relationship has stabilized, and Hussein has played an integral role in promoting peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
But as Hussein undergoes treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and lays the groundwork for his successor, Palestinians are waiting to see what role Crown Prince Abdullah might play in their future.
"This is the time for being careful and checking things and seeing if a new page will be open in the Palestinian-Jordanian relationship," Bishara said.
"I really hope the transition in Jordan will be smooth and peaceful, because instability in Jordan will mean instability in many other places," said Saeb Erakat, chief Palestinian negotiator.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has already paid a special visit to Jordan to congratulate Crown Prince Abdullah on being named as Hussein's successor.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also sent the crown prince a message of congratulations and told him that Israel wants to further consolidate its ties with Jordan.Correspondent Jerrold Kessel contributed to this report.
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