Egypt applies pressure on Palestinians while a Jordanian MP kicks up a sandstorm over Queen Rania
Egypt convinces Hamas to stop fanning flames
Fearful that Israel could use the incendiary kites sent over from the Gaza Strip as a pretext to attack the besieged enclave, the Hamas movement has grounded its fiery fleet, according to Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.
The newspaper said that the launch of kites has declined, and quoted Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth as saying that Hamas had ordered its fighters on the ground to stop incendiary kites and balloons being sent across the frontier, amid pressure from Egypt and the fear of an Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip.
The daily also reported that Egypt has called on the Palestinian factions to form a government of national unity and return to the 2017 reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah that broke down almost as soon as it was launched.
Palestinian sources told Asharq al-Awsat that the new Egyptian initiative, which aims at achieving reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, is based on the idea of implementing the 2017 agreement gradually.
MP takes swipe at Jordan’s queen bee
A Jordanian MP has kicked up a sandstorm in the desert kingdom by denouncing the influence of Queen Rania, saying "there are two kings in Jordan," London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reports.
MP Ghazi al-Hawamala complained that two "kings" rule the country, King Abdullah II and his wife Queen Rania. He said that this could not even happen in hives, the daily reported.
The paper noted that publicly addressing the role of the monarchy is unusual in Jordan.
According to the paper, Hawamala’s outburst is the first time an MP has spoken about the role of the queen or even the royal family in parliament since the democratic transition in Jordan in 1989.
Baltic status for Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia
The German government plans to speed up the deportation of Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian asylum seekers because they belong to "safe countries," following a bill passed on Wednesday, Algerian newspaper al-Khabar writes.
German authorities passed the bill on the second attempt, according to al-Khabar, after the Bundesrat rejected the first version last year.
The paper said Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Georgia will now have the same status as non-EU Baltic countries, which would allow the authorities to almost automatically reject asylum applications by the citizens of these countries and without justifying the reason of the refusal.