Arabic press review: Alas Hamas, Jordan must pass on new office

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Fatah and Hamas may have reconciled, but that's no cause for an office in Amman, says Jordanian official

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh waves as he arrives on the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing last month (AFP)
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Thursday 19 October 2017 13:59 UTC
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Jordan: No offices for Hamas

The Jordanian government has refused to reopen an office for Hamas despite the landmark reconciliation between the group and Fatah signed last week, a Jordanian official told al-Ghad newspaper.

“Even considering the matter is completely excluded,” the official said.

"Hamas is a Palestinian party and movement and its natural place and work is in the Palestinian territories, while the Jordanian parties law prohibits the opening of a branch of any non-Jordanian party on Jordanian soil."

In 1999, the Jordanian government closed Hamas’s office in Amman which authorities said were being used illegally for political purposes.

At the same time, several of the movement’s leaders who held Jordanian nationality were expelled and prevented from carrying out activities on Jordanian territory.

Kuwaiti speaker ‘inspiration for the Arab masses’

The speaker of Kuwait’s National Assembly, Marzouq al-Ghanim, railed at the Israeli delegation at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference in St Petersburg, Russia on Wednesday, calling them “child murderers”.

“You should pack your bags and get out of the hall,” Ghanim said. “Get out of the hall right now if you have an atom of dignity.”

Al-Ghanim was reacting to a discussion about Palestinian lawmakers who have been arrested by Israeli authorities. The Israeli delegation left the talks after his comments.

Kuwait’s al-Rai newspaper praised the speaker’s comments, saying he had reminded the world of the state’s long-standing support for the Palestinian cause.

"The speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament has become an inspiration to the Arab masses,” the newspaper said, noting that many had shared the video of his confrontation.

Questions over Saudi’s position on Syria

An apparent secret visit by Saudi gulf affairs minister Thamer al-Sabhan to the northern Syrian city of Raqqa this week caused concern among Syria observers that Saudi has changed its position towards the country.

According to a report in the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi, Sabhan was photographed with Brett McGurk, US special envoy to the anti-Islamic State campaign, accompanied by military commanders with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

The visit, the newspaper reported, "came in order to send a clear message about the shift of the Saudi attitude towards what is happening in Syria in terms of the stabilisation of Turkish spheres of influence and a change in Saudi-Turkish relations”.

Algerians demanding apology from France

Algerian human rights activists and union leaders on Wednesday called on French President Emmanuel Macron to recognise "the crimes committed by France during its colonisation of Algeria and apologise for them” according to the Algerian daily al-Shourouk.

Their demands came days after they sent letters to the president to mark the 56th anniversary of the killing of at least 40 protesters in Paris on 17 October 1956 by French police.

Six years before the end of the war, the protesters were demonstrating in support of the National Liberation Front which was fighting France.

French authorities, which long denied their involvement in the attack, eventually admitted responsibility in 1998.

In their correspondence with Macron, the activists and union leaders called an official meeting at the Elysee Palace to discuss their demands for an official apology and also a plan to commemorate the Algerian martyrs, the paper reported.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.