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Arabic press review: Egypt's opposition establishes new coalition

Also threats against Hezbollah’s opponents in Lebanon have been escalating and a Palestinian man was forced to demolish his own home in Jerusalem
A new opposition coalition has been launched 10 years after Egyptians launched their uprising on 25 January 2011 and ousted President Hosni Mubarak (AFP)

Egyptian opposition establishes new political front

Opposition forces and personalities in Egypt have announced the formation of a unified political front abroad that aims to achieve peaceful political change in the country, after six months of dialogue and negotiations between opposition movements and figures based outside Egypt, reported Arabi21.

The new political front, named the Union of Egyptian National Forces, aims to be a "coordination platform for opposition forces to unify efforts with the aim of bringing about changes in the country and overthrowing the regime of the coupist leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi."

'We have produced many consensual strategic visions not only to diagnose the reality on the ground and define mechanisms for changing the status quo, but also to set a vision for the future we seek'

- Ayman Nour

The new political coalition was launched in Istanbul in the presence of representatives by a range of opponents of Sisi, who overthrew the democratically elected government of Egypt in 2013.

The leader of the Revolution's Tomorrow Party and former presidential candidate Ayman Nour said that on 11 February 2021, prominent Egyptian figures, national forces, political parties and independent personalities would meet from all over the world (Europe, the US, Turkey, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Korea and many Arab countries) to announce the inauguration and establishment of the new organisation.

"The Egyptian national community called for establishing the union six months ago, while holding continuous discussions day and night to define its objectives and aspirations, and determine what our people want and deserve," he said.

"We have produced many documents and consensual strategic visions not only to diagnose the reality on the ground and define mechanisms for changing the status quo, but also to set a vision for the future we seek."

Israel forces Palestinian citizen to demolish his home

Israeli forces stormed the house of a Palestinian citizen in occupied East Jerusalem, and forced him to demolish his home with his own hands.

They also warned he would pay a huge fine if they found out that he had rebuilt the house or left parts of it standing, reported the Palestinian News Agency (Safa).

Israeli security forces affiliated with the Jerusalem municipality stormed the house of Palestinian citizen Moataz Khalil and forced him to demolish what was left of his home after they had previously compelled him to tear down the main parts.

Khalil, who filmed the incident, said he was shocked to see municipal employees breaking into the house. They forced him to demolish the bathroom and remove the remaining steel columns of the house that had already been demolished.

He added that municipal employees had also ordered him to remove the rubble and said he would be fined if he did not

The Jerusalem municipality had ordered Khalil to demolish his house, which he had built ten years ago and lived in with his wife and children, threatening him with a fine of 50,000 shekels ($15,300). 

Wave of threats target Hezbollah's opponents in Lebanon

Threats against Hezbollah’s opponents in Lebanon have been mounting since the assassination of the writer and political activist Lokman Slim last week.

One included the circulation of a list containing the names and photos of many personalities known for their opposition to the movement, reported the Saudi-funded newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

Prominent Hezbollah critic Lokman Slim found murdered in south Lebanon
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A number of those personalities refused to comment on the campaign launched against them and said the reason for their silence was the fact that the country was going through a "delicate stage," while admitting that "the party behind the threats is known for everybody," according to the Saudi newspaper.

Journalist Ali Al-Amin, whose name was included in the list, said: "What is happening is part of an escalating campaign targeting anyone who opposes the regime or people in power."

Al-Amin told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the assassination of Slim has marked the beginning of a new security phase in Lebanon,” stressing that “if there are security services in Lebanon, or what has been left of them, they ought to take this campaign seriously and take the necessary measures.

"But unfortunately, we no longer have confidence in them, and we expect more threats, smear campaigns, intimidations, and threats from their cyber armies. ”

Roula Mikhael, executive director of the Maharat Foundation, which is concerned with media issues and freedom of expression, confirms that hate speech has flourished in Lebanon and went beyond the parameters of freedom of expression some time ago, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.

Morocco approves new social security law

The Ministerial Council in Morocco has approved a draft social security law with the goal of achieving a "real social revolution" to improve living standards and social justice for citizens.

A statement issued by the royal palace declared that the project had the king’s special attention and follow-up, and promised to achieve a "real social revolution," reported Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

The Moroccan Royal Palace said that the new law will have direct and tangible effects in improving citizens "living conditions, supporting family purchasing power, preserving all Moroccan citizens’ dignity, and achieving social justice, especially at the times of economic fluctuations, health risks, and various emergencies."

The official Royal Palace’s spokesperson added that the draft law aimed to define the principles and objectives associated with reforming the social security system during the next five years, and the obligations of the state, locally elected councils, public institutions, the private sector, and the civil society components.