Jordan. According to Countryaah.com, Jordan population in 2020 is estimated at 10,203,145. The number of refugees from Syria’s civil war continued to rise. By the end of the year, there were over 600,000 registered refugees and, according to estimates, at least as many unregistered. This meant a severe effort on society and the country’s limited resources.
When the Islamic State (IS) extremist Sunni group took control of much of Iraq and Syria, the situation was further tightened. In July, tougher rules were adopted which meant that unregistered refugees, and those who left refugee camps without permission, became without humanitarian aid and risked being deported back to their home countries. The deteriorating situation in Iraq caused refugees to come from there as well.
In September, Jordan, along with several other Arab countries, joined the US-led alliance trying to stop IS. Jordanian fighter jets participated in a bombing campaign against the jihadists. The decision was difficult to digest for many Jordanians. At the same time, fears increased for domestic Islamists to turn to the regime and carry out terrorist acts in Jordan. Over 130 people were arrested for a couple of months for ties to militant Islamist groups, and several were sentenced to prison.
The escalation of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians also contributed to a deteriorating security situation. Jordan turned to the UN Security Council in April, when Israel opened the area around al-Aqsa Mosque to Jewish visitors. Jordan is the patron of the area, which is one of Islam’s holiest sites. The war in Gaza during the summer worsened the situation, as did increased violence in Jerusalem. In November, Jordan called home its ambassador in protest of “the unprecedented escalation” at the holy sites in Jerusalem.
The radical Muslim priest Abu Qatada, expelled from the UK in 2013, was released in September after first being released from charges of a 1998 blast campaign and then from suspicions of planned terrorist acts at the turn of the millennium.