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Arabic press review: Omani and Kuwaiti firms pull out of Bahrain air show over Israeli presence

Meanwhile, Tunisia requests Interpol issue warrant against Ben Ali's son-in-law, the EU pledges financial support to Jordan, and Egypt begins building road along Gaza border
Saudi Hawks display team perform during the opening of the Bahrain International Airshow 2016, in Sakhir, south of the capital Manama, on 21 January 2016 (AFP)
Saudi Hawks display team perform during the opening of the Bahrain International Airshow in Sakhir, south of the capital Manama, on 21 January 2016 (AFP)

Gulf air companies withdraw from Bahrain show

Oman's Salam Air company withdrew from participating in the Bahrain International Airshow, and the Kuwait Finance House removed its logo from the list of sponsors of the exhibition, due to the participation of Israeli companies, according to a report published by the Alkhaleej Online website.

Israeli companies are participating for the first time in the international show, held every two years.

In a statement in May, Oman's Foreign Minister Badr Albusaidi declared that his country will not enter into relations or conclude normalisation agreements with Israel, calling for a just settlement of the Palestinian cause. 

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The Omanis Against Normalisation group reported on its Twitter account that the name of Oman has been removed from the exhibition's website after the Omani company's withdrawal.

Gulf groups that are against Arab normalisation with Israel have also denounced the participation of Israeli military and security companies in the Bahrain Air Show, which is scheduled to be held on 9 November.

The Gulf Coalition Against Normalisation confirmed the participation of four Israeli companies in the exhibition, and said that these Israeli companies produced warplanes and various weapons for the Israeli army to demolish Palestinian homes and kill scores of civilians in Gaza.

The coalition praised the Kuwait Finance House for its quick response by removing its logo from the list of sponsors of the Bahrain International Air Show.

Meanwhile, the Bahraini National Initiative against Normalisation praised the parties that withdrew from the event, calling on the rest to follow suit.

Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan have all signed normalisation deals with Israel since 2020. 

Tunisia requests warrant for Ben Ali's son-in-law

The Tunisian judiciary requested Interpol issue an international arrest warrant against Sakher El Materi, son-in-law of late President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, on charges of money laundering, according to a report by the local Mosaique FM radio.

Judicial sources were quoted as saying that the investigating judge at the Financial Judicial Pole submitted a request for an arrest warrant to the Interpol office in Tunisia against El Materi on charges of "money laundering and exploiting the facilities granted to him by the nature of his position... in addition to the import without notification of seized goods to benefit from a privileged tax system and violate the regulations of disposition and foreign trade." 

El Materi is also charged with financial corruption by taking over a plot of state land in Sidi Bou Said (the capital's northern suburb) and turning it into a cemetery for his family.

El Materi fled Tunisia after the toppling of the Ben Ali regime in 2011 and obtained political asylum in the Seychelles, which enabled him to obtain citizenship of the country and ensured that he would not be handed over to Tunisia. 

EU pledges financial support to Jordan

The European Union's ambassador to Jordan, Maria Hadjitheodosiou, said EU countries will continue to provide financial support to Jordan, despite the repercussions of the Russian war on Ukraine and its impact on the rise of fuel and food prices, according Al-Mamlaka TV channel.

The ambassador said EU support will be allocated to help develop the private sector, support the rule of law and green growth policies, contribute to Jordan's ability to host Syrian refugees and provide health services to them and the host communities.

Hadjitheodosiou confirmed the EU's support to Jordan within the new partnership between the two sides, emphasising the importance of the 14th meeting of the Jordan-EU Association Council, which was held in the Dead Sea area this year.

"The partnership priority document between Jordan and the European Union is part of our commitment and we are continued to support Jordan's response to the Syrian crisis," Hadjitheodosiou added.

Regarding food security support, she said that the EU launched a special programme worth 225 million euros for the countries of the region to meet the short and medium-term needs, of which 25 million euros were allocated to Jordan, stressing that the EU will try to exert efforts for the sustainability of grain exports from Ukraine.

The ambassador stressed the significance of Jordan's humanitarian role in receiving Syrian refugees, and the burden it bears in this regard, stressing the EU's keenness to support Jordan to bear the consequences of hosting refugees.

Egypt to build road from Gaza

Egypt has started carrying out repairs on the wall separating the southern Gaza Strip and North Sinai governorate, in preparation for the construction of an international road running from Gaza's coast to the border where Egypt, Israel and Gaza meet, according to a report published by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper.

The new construction project in the sensitive border area, controlled by the Israeli occupation until 2005, comes at a time when Egyptian activity in Gaza has increased. 

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A source from the Egyptian Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza said that the 40-metre-wide highway will begin construction soon, extending from the seashore of the Palestinian city of Rafah adjacent to the border of Gaza up to the Karem Abu Salim crossing east of the city, where the Israeli army is located, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The source added that the length of the road will be 14 kilometres, and it will be equipped with lighting and monitoring tools.

The same source said that the Egyptian crews will start work on the new project as soon as the paving of the Al-Waha road in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip is completed within the next few weeks.

The engineering machinery and engineers will be transferred to the new site in Rafah to commence the construction of the road.

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

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