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Arabic press review: Scandal in Tunisia over alleged Israeli visit

Meanwhile, Sudan's Omar al-Bashir faces new charges of money laundering
Jewish pilgrims light candles on the first day of the annual pilgrimage to the El Ghriba Synagogue, the oldest Jewish monument built in Africa, in the Mediterranean Tunisian resort island of Djerba, on 22 May (AFP)

Visit of 'Israeli' rabbis sparks controversy in Tunisia 

Tunisian politicians have accused the government of normalisation with Israel after Israeli rabbis reportedly visited the country’s El Ghriba synagogue, according to the London-based newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi.

Tunisian media outlets shared pictures of rabbis - thought to be from Israel - taking part in a pilgrimage on the Tunisian island of Djerba, known for its longstanding Jewish history.

Jewish activists in Tunisia have nonetheless said that the rabbis were "not Israelis, but rather Tunisian Jews living abroad and who visited Tunisia many times previously".

Tunisia, like most Arab countries, has no official diplomatic relations with Israel.

Zuhair al-Maghazawi, the secretary-general of the People's Movement party, called the rabbis’ visit a "scandal with the government’s consent", and called for an investigation into the case, according to Al-Quds al-Arabi.

"We have no problem with the Jews, as they are the brothers of the Muslims and they have the right to the annual visit to El Ghriba Synagogue,” Maghazawi said. “Our problem is rather with the Zionist movement, which is trying its best to normalise, establish relations and take advantage of such occasions to penetrate the social and political life in Tunisia.

“What happened is a real normalisation of the government with the Zionist enemy and Zionist figures exploiting religious tolerance to pass the normalisation projects," he added.

Sudan: Three charges levied against Bashir

Sudan's anti-corruption and financial investigations prosecutor has interrogated recently ousted president Omar al-Bashir over allegations of money laundering and financing terrorism, Sudanese newspaper al-Rakoba reported.

The prosecution notably questioned Bashir regarding large amounts of foreign currency found in bags in the former leader’s home without legal permission.

Sudanese media outlets also revealed that Bashir had been interrogated on charges of killing protesters during the recent popular movement against his rule.

The Sudanese public prosecution has formed a supreme committee to register complaints filed against Bashir in relation to the killing of protesters.

Bashir has been detained in Kobar prison since 16 April, less than a week after a months-long protest movement led to his removal.

Sudanese demonstrators have stayed in the streets since, out of fear that the country’s military aims to maintain its grip on power post-Bashir.

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