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Arabic press review: Saudi Arabia and UAE bankrolling Arab states' Israel deals

Meanwhile, Jordanian prisoner numbers soar and Egypt revokes citizenship of 17 people under nationality law
A Moroccan diplomat said that the UAE and Saudi Arabia were sponsoring normalisation agreements on behalf of the US (AFP)

Saudi Arabia, UAE bankrolling normalisation agreements

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are pumping in huge sums of money in order to finance the normalisation agreements that some Arab countries have recently signed with Tel Aviv, reported Lebanon’s Al Akhbar newspaper.

UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have all established full diplomatic relations with Israel in recent months.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE "are financing these new agreements”, a Moroccan diplomat told Al Akhbar, under condition of anonymity.

The diplomat added that the United States was offering a generous aid package to persuade Arab countries to quickly sign the normation deals, and this "will be provided directly by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, or through participation in investment projects in which Israel plays a direct role, especially in terms of logistical and technical expertise". 

Al Akhbar also published a leaked “top secret” Saudi intelligence document outlining “to what extent the Gulf will benefit from Israel”, which it said had been presented by the head of Saudi General Intelligence, Khalid al-Humaidan, to the royal court in 2018.

Jordan: 145 percent increase in prisoners

An annual report issued by the National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) showed a 145 percent increase in prisoners in Jordan since 2019, and documented more than 100 torture complaints from inmates, reported Jordanian newspaper Al Ghad.

The report said that the number of detainees awaiting trial in Jordan stood at 45,000, while the number of detainees held without trial in administrative detention had risen to more than 37,000.

Torture complaints rose to 130, 20 of which were registered with the Public Security Directorate, and 110 with the NCHR, Al Ghad reported.

Egypt strips 17 people of citizenship

Seventeen Egyptian nationals, mostly women, were stripped of their citizenship in 2020 after obtaining foreign citizenship, reported state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper.

The citizenship of 10 women and seven men were revoked under a 1975 nationality law, which requires nationals to seek permission before obtaining foreign citizenship. 

Most of the nationals were found to have been naturalised as Israelis without permission, the paper said.

The Egyptian government had previously amended provisions of the nationality law, forbidding citizenship to those found to have joined organisations or entities “characterised as Zionist".