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Arabic press review: 500 in Kuwait convicted over 'unlawful' retweets

Meanwhile, a Jordanian diplomat warns of Palestinian population transfer, and Moroccans protests against high food prices
A Kuwaiti trader checks his phone at the entrance of the Boursa Kuwait financial market in Kuwait City, on 8 March 2020 (AFP)
A Kuwaiti trader checks his phone at the entrance of the Boursa Kuwait financial market in Kuwait City, on 8 March 2020 (AFP)

Kuwait: Hundreds fined over retweets

At least 500 people in Kuwait were fined for retweeting posts deemed illegal, Al-Qabas newspaper reported on Saturday citing a source with knowledge of the cases.

A court ordered the defendants to pay charges between 1,000 Kuwaiti Dinars ($3,263) to 5,000 Kuwaiti Dinars ($16,317).

The convictions were based on complaints made by individuals against tweets seen as defamatory or containing false information about them. 

People behind the original tweets, as well as users who reposted them, were fined. 

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In one case, a complainant is set to receive five million Kuwaiti Dinars ($13.1m) in compensation from people who retweeted posts deemed abusive.

Ex-Jordanian FM: Palestinian population transfer a real danger 

Jordan's first ambassador to Israel warned there is a danger that a population transfer of Palestinians over to Jordan could be on the agenda, urging Amman to take a stronger position against the current "extremist" Israeli government. 

In an interview with Arabi21 news website, Marwan Muasher said that the previous soft diplomatic approach taken by Jordan regarding Israel no longer works. 

"We are dealing with a religiously and nationally extremist government, it is impossible to be flexible and soft with it," said Muasher, who served as Jordan's foreign minister from 2002 to 2004. 

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He added that a population transfer is a "real danger", considering Israel's policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

"Israel does not want a Palestinian state to be established in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and it does not want there to be a Palestinian majority inside the territories it controls, and it is clear that this government does not recognize the right of Palestinians to exist on their land.

"So, there is only one option left, which is the option of transfer, and this has a direct impact on Jordanian national security, which means this is not only a Palestinian-Israeli issue, but also a Jordanian issue", he added.

The former diplomat urged Arab states and other nations to change the discourse on the conflict, putting more effort towards a "one state and equal political and civil rights for Palestinians and Israelis as the basis for any future solution".

Protests in Morocco over soaring prices

Protests took place across dozens of Moroccan cities on the weekend against high prices and deteriorating living standards, news website Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed reported.

The demonstrations come at a time when the economy is struggling with high inflation, which has exposed the government to criticism from trade unions, opposition MPs, local media, and civil society organisations.

More than 60 Moroccan cities witnessed demonstrations on Saturday, where protesters demanded lower prices for basic food items such as vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat. 

The Moroccan Social Front, a bloc of unions and human rights associations, criticised the "dangerous and unprecedented soaring prices of basic foodstuffs," as well as the "outrageous and unjustified high fuel prices that continue despite the low price of oil at the international level". 

Jordanian woman arrested for stealing milk to feed baby

A Jordanian woman was arrested after stealing milk worth around $5 to feed her three-year-old baby, Al-Ghad daily reported on Tuesday.

The single mother was caught on CCTV stealing a carton of milk from a shopping centre in Zarqa city. 

She was detained for 14 days pending further legal action.

She was later released after a volunteer lawyer paid her 10,000 Jordanian Dinars ($14,084) bail. 

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

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.