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Arabic press review: 'Mossad agent' detained in Gaza

Meanwhile, Morocco arrests MP allegedly involved in financial forgery, while Jordan sentences army officer to five years in prison over Facebook post
A portrait of assassinated Palestinian professor Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, a Hamas member, displayed outside his family home in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on 21 April 2018 (AFP)

'Mossad agent' involved in killing Palestinian scientist arrested 

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A Palestinian reported to have been working with Israel's spy agency, Mossad, has been arrested in Gaza by the Hamas-run Palestinian Ministry of the Interior, London-based news outlet Arabi21 has reported

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The man was detained in connection with the killing of Fadi al-Batsh in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in 2018, the ministry said on 9 January.

Batsh, a Gaza-born engineer, was shot dead by motorbike-riding attackers on 21 April 2018 as he walked to a mosque for dawn prayers. 

Iyad al-Bozom, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior in Gaza, said the suspect confessed to carrying out the assassination under the direct orders of Mossad. 

Mossad is believed to have assassinated Palestinian militants and scientists in the past, but rarely confirms such operations.

Moroccan MP arrested over defrauding banking institution

Moroccan security forces have arrested a lawmaker on suspicion of being involved in "a case relating to using forgery to obtain an immense financial loan", according to the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.

Moroccan sources did not reveal the official's name, but said security forces had detained an MP from the Constitutional Union party, based on a complaint submitted by a banking institution.

The institution accused the MP of forging official documents and financial guarantees and using them to fraudulently obtain a financial loan.

Investigations also revealed the lawmaker was allegedly involved in producing a false positive Covid-19 test result in order to avoid judicial investigation procedures, the source said.

The MP had disappeared from public life, but was eventually caught in an ambush coordinated by security services, which had been tracking his movements.

He was then taken to the headquarters of the judicial police in the city of Casablanca, and held under pre-trial detention pending investigation into the criminal charges against him and others 

Jordanian officer sentenced to prison over Facebook post

A military court in Jordan has sentenced an army officer to five years in prison over a Facebook post in which he criticised the government's handling of a public health crisis related to Covid-19 last year, The New Khalij reported.

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In March 2021, 10 coronavirus patients died in the state-run al-Salt al-Jadeed hospital after it ran out of oxygen. The deaths sparked anger and protests that led to the resignation of Jordanian Health Minister Nazir Obeidat. 

The officer's father said his son, Nidal al-Tarzi, who was expelled from the army, was convicted on charges of incitement, sedition, abuse of military institutions, insulting the king and destabilising Jordan's security. He was sentenced to five years in a civilian prison, after having been detained in military prison for almost a year.

His brother, Motaz, said Tarzi had criticised the incident out of love for the country when he said: "It is an offence that people die because of a lack of oxygen. This is neglect and we must combat corruption and the corrupt. It is an offence that there is indifference to people's lives."

"The hospital director was sentenced to three years in prison, and my brother was sentenced to five years in prison... Where is the justice?" Motaz added.

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

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