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Arabic press review: Kushner wants to meet with Hamas to discuss Israel

Meanwhile, cartoon praised for celebrating Israel's deal with Gulf nations, and Egypt unites with France against 'Turkish threat'
Hamas Ismail Haniyeh AFP
Senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh, seen here on 3 September, says the US administration wants to hold talks with the Palestinian group to discuss Israel (AFP)

Hamas: Kushner encourages talks with Israel

A senior Hamas official has revealed the details of an offer made by US President Donald Trump's advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, encouraging the group to hold talks with Israel.

According to Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, Kushner's office had asked some Arab parties to contact Hamas's leadership, and told them that they (the US administration) were ready to sit with the movement at any time, whether in an Arab or European country.

"We rejected an offer from Kushner's office, mediated by other parties, to hold meetings for the sake of engaging in dialogue with Israel," Haniyeh said in a televised interview aired by Al Jazeera Arabic.

"We decided not to participate in any dialogue that discusses the establishment of the Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and the implementation of the 'Deal of the Century'," Haniyeh said, referring to Trump’s long-touted plan to address the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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The revelation comes after Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed an accord last month, which Trump helped to broker, to normalise diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship.

Last week Bahrain also agreed to follow suit, becoming the first Arab country to emulate the UAE's decision to do so.

The deal has been denounced by Palestinians from across the political spectrum, who dismissed it as tantamount to "treason" and "a stab in the back". 

Haniyeh told the investigative programme there were signs that Hamas was "expanding and getting stronger", citing Israel's failure to "disarm the resistance despite all the normalisation moves that took place recently, and demonise the movement as well as list it as a terrorist organisation".

While Hamas was not looking for a war in the Gaza Strip, he stated, the Palestinian group "will not be afraid to wage one" if Israel makes a belligerent move.

"If the occupation thinks about launching new aggression against Gaza, the battle will be different this time, and the factions, especially the Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas), will surprise the enemy," Haniyeh said.

Cartoon celebrates Gulf nations' ties with Israel

A Twitter account affiliated with the Israeli foreign ministry has republished a cartoon celebrating the UAE and Bahrain’s normalisation of ties with Israel, which first appeared in the Emirati newspaper Al-Ittihad.

The cartoon depicted a white dove bearing an olive branch with leaves painted as the flags of the UAE, Bahrain, the United States, and Israel, in reference to the normalisation agreement between the two Gulf states and Israel brokered by Washington.

The Israel Arabic account retweeted the cartoon, calling it "a beautiful caricature by the Emirati newspaper Al-Ittihad". It also included a Quranic verse reading: "O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly."

Last Friday, Bahrain announced it had also reached an agreement to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel, becoming the first Arab country to emulate the UAE's decision in August.

Egypt and France unite against ‘Turkish threat’

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and French President Emmanuel Macron have agreed to hold successive remote meetings this month between military and intelligence officials from the two countries, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

According to Egyptian diplomatic and government sources, the main agenda of the meetings is to arrange for joint military manoeuvres between Egypt and France, as well as Greece and Cyprus, before the end of the year. They will also evaluate these countries' "military needs" as they face "the Turkish threat", reported the London-based newspaper.

Sisi and Macron had agreed on this step during a phone call last Friday, said the same sources, as the French leader made a series of successive contacts with Athens, Nicosia, and Rome to discuss ways to confront Ankara's ambitions in the region. 

Tension has been escalating in the eastern Mediterranean region following the signing of the maritime borders demarcation agreements between Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and Israel, and Turkey's insistence on not recognising it. 

Meanwhile, Turkey continues to explore gas and natural resources in the areas adjacent to its borders and to the Greek islands.

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

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