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Arabic media review: Deadlines, diplomats and death threats

Ex-UAE police chief says Doha faces a coup, Saudi activist apparently incites against Qatar's emir, and Iran sends diplomats to Saudi Arabia
Fishermen fix a net on the corniche of the Qatari capital Doha (AFP)

A very Qatari coup

Dubai's outspoken former police commander has provoked fresh controversy after posting on Twitter about a "Qatari 3 July" - a reference to the date of the military coup in Egypt against Mohamed Morsi, which his followers interpreted as a promise for a similar event in Doha.

Dhahi Khalfan wrote on Twitter on 2 July: "On 3/7 Morsi was ousted... On 3/7 Qatar will also be ousted. Is it a coincidence?"

He also hinted at an Emirati occupation of Qatar in a separate Twitter post, in which he wrote, "I wear Qatari clothing because my grandfather lived in Qatar when it was ruled by Abu Dhabi."

The Twitter post calling apparently inciting against the emir of Qatar (screengrab)

The posts by Khalfan, who is close to the government in Abu Dhabi, coincided with Qatar's deadline to respond to the 13 demands made by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

That deadline was extended by 48 hours by Qatar's adversaries. 

Meanwhile, Saudi activist Waleed Dhafeeri apparently incited his more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter to kill the emir of Qatar.

"Tamim has sold his country and his people for free, so his blood is free," Dhafeeri said.

Deadline has passed - until it hasn't

The UAE state-owned newspaper, Khaleej Times, wrote in an editorial on its front page, "the 10-day deadline is over, meaning that the list of 13 demands will remain and some measures against Qatar would be added.

"It is expected that financial sanctions will soon be announced, which will increase over time, and that new lists of terrorists and extremists associated with Qatar will be released in agreement with the boycotting countries.

"Doha is to face revelations of more scandals in the coming days, backed up by evidence."

Iranian diplomats touch down in Saudi Arabia

Ten Iranian diplomats have been given licences to work in Saudi Arabia to organise the Hajj season, the Iranian "Isna" news agency reported.

The agency said the 10 Iranians were consular representatives and they will start their activities soon in three Saudi cities.

Hundreds of Iranians died during a devastating stampede at the Hajj in September 2015 and Iranian pilgrims were not allowed to attend last year's Hajj following the disaster and a diplomatic schism.

Palestinian gives his house to Al Jazeera

A Palestinian citizen has donated his family home to the Qatari Al Jazeera channel to express his solidarity against the Saudi-led embargo, according to a report by the al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.

Ayed Bernatt, 40, works as a farmer and owns a modest house near the Separation Wall in Bilin, in the occupied West Bank, in which he lives with his wife and three children.

However, he recently donated the house to Al Jazeera to show solidarity against attempts to silence it.

Bernatt said, "Qatar does not deserve this embargo. Qatar is a generous country that has stood with oppressed peoples in the Arab and Muslim worlds, and it deserves our solidarity with it.”

US politician praises press freedom in Algeria

The head of the US House of Representatives credentials committee, Rodney Frelinghuysen, has praised Algeria's achievements in recent years, especially in terms of individual freedoms and freedom of the press, according to the Algerian al-Khabar newspaper in its Monday edition.

The US representative’s statements were made during a meeting with the speaker of the Algerian National Assembly, Abdelkader Bensalah.

The two sides discussed the Libyan situation and how to restore stability and security in the country by achieving a rapprochement between the different parties to the conflict.