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Arabic press review: Shireen Abu Akleh's killing referred to ICC

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia promises hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects for Yemen and a Syrian preacher is arrested in Mecca for criticising Assad
Shireen Abu Akleh's killing has been referred to the ICC (AFP)

Shireen Abu Akleh case referred to ICC

The murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has been presented before the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Palestinian foreign ministry has said, according to an Arabi21 report.

“The case is now at the disposal of the International Criminal Court as per its procedures and executive regulations," said Ahmed al-Deek, the political adviser to Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, in an exclusive statement to the website.

The statement added that "the International Criminal Court does not work based on political decisions of states, but rather its work and actions are governed by the Rome Statute and the court’s regulations."

Regarding the possibility of "freezing" the case of the murdered Al Jazeera journalist, al-Deek explained that "the Palestinian Authority is not authorised to freeze this case, because this case is now at the disposal of the Office of the Public Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court".

The Hebrew newspaper, Israel Today, said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas informed ministers during his last cabinet meeting that Israel had demanded he not bring the case before the ICC.

Abu Akleh was shot and killed on 11 May 2022 by an Israeli sniper. The bullet hit her directly in the head while she was covering an Israeli army raid on Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. She was wearing a blue jacket clearly marking her out as a member of the press.

Later, Israeli security forces attacked her funeral.

Saudi Arabia promises to spend big in Yemen

Saudi Arabia has announced a package of development projects in Yemen totalling approximately $400m.

Yemen: Three months in, new leadership achieves little amid rising anger
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The package includes 17 development projects in six sectors, in addition to $200m to provide oil derivatives to operate power stations, according to a report published by the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

These projects were announced during a meeting between the head of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad al-Alimi, and Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, the Saudi deputy minister of defence.

The meeting touched on the latest developments in Yemen, and the efforts of the leadership council to unify the country and work towards a rapprochement between different Yemeni factions to reach a comprehensive political solution.

Rebel-held Syria hit by Turkish lira crisis

The purchasing power of millions of Syrians in the northwest of the country fell sharply in June compared to the previous month, with many people no longer able to secure their daily needs as a result of sky-rocketing prices, according to a report published by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper.

Syrians who live in areas controlled by opposition factions deal in Turkish lira, which has recently seen a sharp decrease in value against the US dollar.

These areas include more than four million people, mostly internally displaced persons, a large number of whom depend on aid due to a high rate in unemployment and the lack of permanent job opportunities.

Meanwhile, this June witnessed a 2.4 percent increase in poverty levels. Over 86 percent of families in the region are now living below the poverty line.

A media activist based in the north of Syria, Shahoud Abdullah, explained that "the purchasing power of the majority of the population who reside in northwestern Syria has decreased significantly during the current year".

Abdullah confirmed that "the decrease of the value of the Turkish lira in northern Syria is a major reason."

"Despite this decline, labour wages remained unchanged," he said.

He added that a family's expenses had increased by one-third as a result of high prices around the world, which have forced many families in Idlib to give up meat and dairy.

Syrian preacher arrested in Mecca

Human rights sources say that Saudi authorities have arrested Syrian preacher Abdul Alim Abdullah, along with one of his companions from the Great Mosque of Mecca (also known as Masjid al-Haram), over comments made criticising Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Sened human rights organisation stated in a tweet: "News of arresting of Sheikh Abdul Alim Abdullah, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Council, along with one of his companions inside the Masjid al-Haram after accusing them of raising their voice during supplication."

About 10 days ago, human rights defenders and activists launched an electronic campaign entitled "Hajj is not safe," criticising what they said was the Saudi authorities' exploitation of the Hajj season for political purposes, by pursuing pilgrims, arresting them and handing them over to their countries, as they did with Uyghur pilgrims.