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Arabic press review: Anger at call to normalise relations with Israel in Saudi drama

Meanwhile, Egypt air force pilots die in unconfirmed incident and strict measures to protect Saudi king from coronavirus
Nasser al-Qasabi is seen in discussions during the drama Exit 7 in which the normalisation of relations with Israel is clearly promoted (AFP)

Saudi series blasted for attacking 'ungrateful' Palestinians

Saudi Arabia's MBC has broadcast a drama that includes scenes openly calling for the normalisation of relations with Israel and attacking Palestinians and their cause, according to a report published by Arabi21.

In the series called Makhraj 7 (Exit 7), two actors, Nasser al-Qasabi and Rashid al-Shamrani, are seen in discussions in which normalisation with Israel is clearly promoted.

In one scene, Shamrani says he intends to expand his commercial works and cooperate with Israelis, then Qasabi responds that "Israelis are enemies". 

Afterwards, they begin a dialogue that includes a justification for establishing relations with Israel, and affirms that "Saudi Arabia did not gain anything when it supported Palestinians, and must now establish relations with Israel".

"The real enemy is the one who curses you, denies your sacrifices and support, and curses you day and night more than the Israelis," Shamrani says.

The scene caused widespread anger on social media, with activists asserting that it was an attempt to incite Saudi and Gulf society in general against the Palestinian cause.

Activists said such scenes which depict the Israeli occupation as a country of peace with which relations can be established, should not be broadcast.

Egyptian air force pilots killed in unconfirmed crash 

Military medical sources have revealed that four Egyptian military pilots were killed in an air accident on Sunday, according to the London-based newspaper Al-Arabi al-Jadeed

The Egyptian government has not officially confirmed the deaths or any details of the incident, but the newspaper published the names and photos of the pilots it said had died.
 
The sources said that those killed were the pioneer aviators Mohamed Abdul Basir and Ibrahim Ramadan, Flight-Lieutenant Mohamed al-Sabbagh, and Technical Lieutenant Ahmed Matouq. 

The sources added that they were the crew of an MI-17 helicopter and that the funerals were held in their hometown.

Several Egyptian army officers have published accounts on social media about the pilots' deaths, stating that the accident was a result of a technical failure that occurred in the Siwa area of the South Sinai Governorate, in the east of the country. 

The incident occurred at the same time as intense bombing operations launched by the Egyptian military air force of sites in northern Sinai for several hours on Sunday. 

Strict measures to protect Saudi king from coronavirus

Reports from Riyadh indicate that precautionary measures have been taken to protect Saudi Arabia's King Salman from the coronavirus or any respiratory or digestive symptoms, according to the New Khalij website.

A Saudi medical team will supervise the implementation of the measures, according to the report.

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In addition, a civilian plane and a helicopter equipped with respirators will be placed at the disposal of the medical team.
 
King Salman will continue his direct meetings with a few members of the ruling family, such as his sons, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Minister of Defence Prince Khalid, Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz, in addition to his youngest son, Prince Rakan.

Beyond this, it was decided that it would be left to King Salman to decide with whom he would meet directly if necessary, in particular National Security Adviser Musaed al-Aiban, and Head of General Intelligence Khalid al-Humaidan.

King Salman spends most of his time in his palace in Jeddah, as he is close to both Mecca and the Red Sea, according to the report.

Prince Rakan is responsible for arranging his contacts with the ruling Al Saud family and officials during this period, it said.

Frenchman arrested for allegedly raping children in Mauritania

Authorities in Nouakchott have announced the arrest of a man accused of causing terror in the neighbourhoods of the Mauritanian capital for weeks, after he allegedly raped three girls between the ages of two and six, according to the London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

Authorities said the 40-year-old Frenchman had been living in Mauritania for several years and studying Islamic sciences. 

The man, who dressed in a religious costume, confessed to investigators to committing all of the rapes, according to the newspaper.

In making the arrest, police used pictures taken by surveillance cameras, victims' statements and the accounts of witnesses, the newspaper said.

The last victim, a six-year-old, told investigators the man who raped her was "white, speaks in the accent of soap operas, and rides a large SUV". 

A "Stop Rape" campaign has been running for months in Mauritania, calling on authorities to take measures leading to the execution of rapists as a deterrent after repeated attacks in several neighbourhoods of the capital.

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