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Arabic press review: Israel offers Palestinian prisoners completion of sentence in Jordan

Meanwhile, Algeria arrests prominent journalist Ihsane al-Kadi, and Oman expands its Israel boycott law
Prominent Palestinian prisoner Abdullah Barghouti arriving at the Magistrate's Court for a hearing in Jerusalem on 20 June 2012 (AFP)

Israel offers transfer of Palestinian prisoners to Jordan prisons

Israel's Prison Service has offered Palestinian prisoners with Jordanian citizenship the option of being transferred to Jordan to complete their sentences, sources told Arabi21.

The offer is part of an agreement between Israel and Jordan, stipulating that prisoners will serve their full sentences, some of which include life terms, in detention.

Jordanian activist Khader al-Mashaikh, who heads a committee specialised in following up on the affairs of Jordanian detainees in Israel, said several prisoners have accepted the offer according to their families.

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Mashaikh said that prominent prisoner Abdullah Barghouti, who is serving 67 life terms of 5,200 years, the longest sentence in Israel's history, was among those offered a transfer. Barghouti, who was arrested in al-Bireh in the occupied West Bank, is serving his 20th year in Israeli prisons on charges of being involved in killing more than 60 Israelis.

Arabi21 said it had obtained a copy of the papers signed by prisoner Munir Mari, which state that the prisoner, or another entity, will bear the cost of the transfer, and not Israel.

"After your transfer to your home country, you must complete the remainder of the sentence handed down by Israel according to the laws in your home country", which include "specified instructions for reducing the sentence", the papers read.

"In the event of [the home country] cancelling or reducing the sentence, a notice will be sent to your home country to revert back to... the previous penalty."

Algeria arrests prominent journalist 

Algerian authorities have arrested journalist Ihsane el-Kadi and closed down his Radio M internet station, seen as the last independent space for free political debate in Algeria, London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported.

Security forces arrested Kadi on Saturday before raiding Radio M, Maghreb Emergent (the station's website) and shared offices, and confiscating equipment, cameras, computers and files and sealing off the premises.

Maghreb Emergent said the arrest and search were part of an intimidation and harassment campaign by authorities.

Quoting local journalist Mustapha Bendjama, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Tuesday that Kadi is being held at a police station in the suburbs of Algiers with no charges disclosed against him.

The Rally for Culture and Democracy party expressed its unconditional support for the staff and directors of Radio M, which it described as one of the few media foundations that preserve the voice of the opposition.

The Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights said the arrest is a "flagrant assault on press freedom" and an indication of "authoritarian deviation and the authorities' desire to get rid of the free press and all forms of protest and opposition".

Reporters Without Borders has also called on the Algerian authorities to release Kadi.

Oman votes to toughen Israel boycott law

Oman's parliament on Monday voted on a draft amendment to the law banning ties with Israel that will toughen the penalty of  "interaction with the Zionist entity for private and public figures", Omani Waf news agency reported.

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The Consultative Assembly discussed the amendment of the first clause of the boycott law to prohibit any technical, cultural, sports or economic interaction with Israel.

The assembly's vice president, Yaaqoub al-Harethi, said the amendment will "expand the criminalisation and the boycott" of Israel and "prohibits all private parties, legal persons, or others from dealing with Israelis in all fields".

Harethi said the proposed amendment would ban Omanis from "dealing [with Israel] in any way or means, including in-person meetings, (or) electronic meetings (or) something else".

The assembly referred the proposal to the Legislative and Legal Committee for approval.

The draft amendment comes months after Tel Aviv requested Muscat to open its airspace to Israeli civilian aircraft after Saudi Arabia approved a similar decision during US President Joe Biden's visit in July, a move that was rejected by the sultanate.

Oman did not join its Gulf neighbours Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in normalising ties in Israel, saying it was a sovereign matter, repeatedly emphasising the necessity of resolving the Palestinian issue in accordance with international decisions that are based on the two-state solution.

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

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