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Arabic press review: UAE pledges $15m to UN agency to help rebuild Jenin camp

Meanwhile, suicide attempts increase in Egypt's prisons, Abu Dhabi jails woman for inciting hate on social media, Saudi Arabia executes five people over mosque bombing,
An elderly woman reacts as she stands in a rubble-filled alley in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, on 5 July 2023 (AFP)

UAE pledges $15m to help rebuild Jenin camp

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pledged $15m to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) to help rebuild the Jenin refugee camp following the wide-scale destruction left by a major Israeli raid, Emirati state news agency WAM reported.

The pledge on Thursday came after the Israeli army concluded a two-day offensive that had seen bulldozers destroy the camp's narrow roads and alleyways. A UNRWA statement said the UAE was the first country to show support for the agency's response to the destruction.

"The funds will allow the Agency to undertake immediate rehabilitation and repair work inside the camp, including to the Agency's health centre and to homes that were destroyed or severely damaged," said the UNRWA commissioner-general.

The destruction was not limited to streets, water and electricity networks, but extended to homes, residential buildings and even hospitals and mosques.

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According to city officials, more than 4,000 residents were displaced and 800 houses were damaged or destroyed in the largest military operations in the West Bank in two decades

The Palestinian health ministry said 12 people, including five children, were killed in two days, some from gunshot wounds and others as a result of air strikes. At least 120 others were wounded, 20 of them in a critical condition. 

Suicide attempts on the rise in Egyptian prisons

Suicide attempts by Egyptian prisoners have significantly increased in the past few years, as conditions in prisons in Egypt continue to deteriorate, according to a human rights report.

"The deterioration of prisoners' mental health has become commonplace, leading them to attempt self-harm and end their life," the No Time Limit Campaign said in its report titled, "Unbearable: On suicide in places of detention in Egypt".

The report documented a number of cases of prisoners who sought to end their life, including the case of Omar Adel, who ended his life after being abused and placed in solitary for days for possessing a mobile phone.

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The report referenced a letter leaked in February from inside Badr Prison 3, in which detainees revealed they were being subjected to starvation and denied vital medicine. 

The letter shed light on the grim conditions inside the prison, including bans on family visits and inadequate healthcare. 

"The number of suicide attempts is increasing due to the worsening treatment of prisoners," the letter read

It added that 55 suicide attempts had taken place in the space of 10 days, whether by hanging, slashing wrists, or overdosing on medicines.

The report said the constant use of violence, and threats and attempts to control prisoners have turned prisons into a fertile environment for the spread of mental disorders that may lead to suicide attempts, whether inside places of detention or even after their prisoners are released.

The rights group called for comprehensive physical and psychological medical examinations of detainees, and the provision of psychiatrists in prisons and psychiatric medication to prisoners suffering from mental illness.

UAE jails woman for five years over hate speech

An Abu Dhabi court has sentenced a woman to five years in jail and fined her $136,000 for inciting hate on social media, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported.

The defendant on Thursday was found guilty of insulting men and domestic workers in a video posted on social media, and will be deported upon completion of her prison term.

It was not immediately clear where the defendant will be deported to.

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The court also ordered the confiscation of the mobile phone she had used to post the clip and banned her from using social media. 

Her social media account has also been closed.

The Public Prosecution in Abu Dhabi had opened an investigation into the video clip after it went viral on social media, before referring the defendant to a criminal court to be tried in accordance with Article 7 of the decree-law on combating discrimination and hatred.

Saudi Arabia executes five over mosque bombing

Saudi Arabia on Monday executed five people convicted of carrying out a bombing attack on a mosque in 2016, Arabi21 reported.

The five men - four Saudis and one Egyptian national - were tried for the attack on the Imam Rida mosque, which killed five people and wounded several others in the town of Mahasen, in Saudi Arabia's eastern region, where the Shia Muslim minority is concentrated.

An interior ministry statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency said the four Saudis, named as Ahmed Asiri, Abdullah al-Tuwaijari, and Nisar and Hamed al-Mousa, were convicted of belonging to a terrorist organisation and facilitating the bombings carried out by the Islamic State group in Saudi Arabia.

The statement named the Egyptian national as Talha Hisham, who, it said, had tried to blow himself up before he was arrested.

The latest executions bring the total number of people put to death in Saudi Arabia so far this year to 68. More than 20 executions have been carried out since early May for terrorism-related offences, the vast majority in the eastern province.

Last year, Saudi Arabia executed 147 people in total, more than double the 2021 figure of 69, according to an AFP tally. 

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

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