Jordan criticises Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount
The BBC reports that Saudi Arabia has launched a massive tourism development project that will turn 50 islands and other sites on the Red Sea into luxury resorts.
The BBC also details that Jordanian MPs have voted to scrap a law enabling rapists to avoid punishment if they marry their victim. The article adds that Tunisia revoked a similar provision for rapists last week, while Lebanon is also considering following suit.
The FT notes the growing economic burden and heightened security risk in Lebanon over hosting approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees. The article quotes a former Muslim religious leader in Baalbek, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, saying that “it is absolutely necessary that refugees return [to Syria]”.
In the Israeli media, the front pages of Yediot Ahronot, Maariv, and Israel Hayom are all overwhelmingly dominated by the reports that Ari Harow, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Netanyahu, is about to turn state’s witness. Harow is the individual who recorded the conversation between Netanyahu and Yediot Ahronot owner Arnon Mozes which is the basis of “Case 2000” and, also has information relevant to “Case 1000”, relating to Netanyahu’s receipt of valuable gifts from various businessmen. Harow is also under personal investigation over allegations of impropriety relating to the sale of his consulting business. Maariv columnist Ben Caspit writes: “He is the one who knows, if there is anything to know, what Netanyahu did to advance the ‘horse trading’ he conducted with Mozes.”
Yediot Ahronot provides an update on “Case 3000”, the submarine affair, reporting that the witness statement by state’s witness Mickey Ganor is subject to a gag order. This follows reporting on Channel 2 last night that David Shimron, close associate of Netanyahu who is also implicated in the affair, used Netanyahu’s name in his dealings.
Haaretz also reports on its front page that Netanyahu’s wife Sara will be questioned by police today in a separate affair related to the Prime Minister’s residences.
In other news Haaretz covers on the front page of its English edition the launch of Israel’s first ever environmental research satellite, a story also covered prominently by Times of Israel online. The online platform also carries comments reported on Israeli broadcast media yesterday of Trump aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner in which he says, “there may be no solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Maariv prominently reports on the large number of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av yesterday. The day passed without violence, but the visits drew condemnation from a Jordanian minister, and also the Israeli Sephardi chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who noted the religious injunction against Jews visiting the Temple Mount.