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Arabic press review: 'Deal of century' postponed due to Jordanian, PA criticism

Also: US is holding off announcing 'deal of the century,' given Palestinian and Jordan hesitations
Hamas policemen take a position in Nuseirat, south of Gaza City on 22 March, during a man-hunt that resulted in the arrest of a suspect in a recent bomb attack against the Palestinian prime minister. (AFP)

Jordanian-Palestinian reservations postpone ‘deal of the century’

Jordanian sources have said there are "political differences and reservations on both Jordanian and Palestinian sides” concerning the US plan for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, the so-called "deal of the century". 

Majid Faraj, director of Palestinian General Intelligence in the West Bank, whispers to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (AFP)
This has led to a delay in the official announcement of the plan by the US, according to Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad.

Jordanian and Palestinian officials have attributed the postponement of the deal to "the solid attitude of Jordan and the Palestinian leadership, which rejected many chapters of the deal’s draft," the newspaper said.

"The plan is not yet finished and it will be presented to both parties only when they are ready to deal with it," a White House official said.


Main suspect in Gaza bombing arrested 

The main suspect behind last week’s bombing of the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was on Thursday arrested, according to a security source in Gaza, as reported by Arabi21.

Palestinians at the site of a blast which targeted Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah's convoy (Reuters)
The source, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that the suspect is Anas Abdul Malik Abu Khoussa. Other news sources reported that the suspect was killed during the attempted arrest.

"He was cornered by the security forces after information indicated he was hiding with two others in a house inside the Gaza Strip. Clashes broke out between the security forces and the wanted person. As a result, he was severely injured, while two members of the security forces were killed,” the source said.

On Wednesday, the Interior Ministry in Gaza published a picture of the main suspect and called on citizens who knew him to report him to the authorities.


UAE taking legal action against Moroccan journalist

The United Arab Emirates has filed a complaint against a Moroccan journalist because of an article published by his newspaper Akhbar Alyoum, alleging the UAE's involvement in his arrest last month, according to London-based newspaper Al-Quds Alarabi.

Reporters Without Borders ranked Morocco 133rd out of 180 countries in its World Press Freedom Index in 2017
Tawfiq Bouachrine, the director of Akhbar Alyoum, was seized in a raid on the newspaper's Casablanca office on 23 February on charges of sexual assault, human trafficking, and rape, which he denies.

While human rights activists and journalists are questioning these charges, Bouachrine's newspaper surprised readers by accusing the UAE of being behind the allegations.

The UAE embassy in Rabat has decided to take legal action against the newspaper and the detained journalist for the article, alleging it fabricated the allegations against UAE, according to Al-Quds Al-Arabi.


Egypt removing citizenship from dissidents abroad

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decree approving the revocation of Egyptian citizenship for two citizens, without naming them.

Egypt Prime Minister Sherif Ismail pictured in October 2015 (AFP)
The decree said the two had lost their nationality "because of their residence outside the country and joining a foreign body which aims at undermining the social and economic systems of the state," according to the newspaper Al-Mesryoon.

The newspaper did not disclose the identity of the "foreign body" or how it operates.

The Egyptian opposition fears that the government will begin a campaign to remove nationality from dissidents living abroad, including thousands of Egyptians belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood who fled the country for fear of arrest following the overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in the summer of 2013.

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

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