Middle East
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Saudi to Allow Only 'Immunized' Pilgrims to Mecca

Saudi authorities said Monday only people immunized against Covid-19 will be allowed to perform the year-round umrah pilgrimage from the start of Ramadan, the holy fasting month for Muslims.

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Netanyahu Sees Prospects Fade as His Trial Resumes

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial resumed Monday, with a key witness painting a picture of an image-obsessed Israeli leader forcing a prominent news site to flatter his family and smear his opponents.

The testimony came as Netanyahu's chances of securing another term in office following last month's parliamentary elections appeared to be dwindling in high-stakes political talks hosted by the country's figurehead president just a few miles (kilometers) away.

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Iran Says It Has Arrested Spies for Israel, Other Nations

Iranian authorities arrested several people on charges of spying for Israel and other nations, state TV announced Monday.

An unnamed Intelligence Ministry official in the country's eastern Azerbaijan province was quoted by state TV as saying that security forces had detained a group of people suspected of spying for Israel and other unspecified countries. The brief report did not provide further details on the nationalities of the suspects or provide evidence to support the espionage charges.

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Abbas Travels to Germany for 'Medical Tests'

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas left for Germany on Monday for "routine medical tests" and to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, a source within his office told AFP.

Less than two months before the first Palestinian polls in 15 years, the 86-year-old Abbas left the presidential compound in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank via helicopter for Jordan, said the source.

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Jordan's Prince Hamzah Strikes Defiant Tone over Palace Turmoil

Jordan's Prince Hamzah, accused of plotting against his half-brother King Abdullah II, has struck a defiant tone, insisting he will not obey orders restricting his movement.

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Palace Turmoil, Wave of Arrests over Plot to 'Destabilise' Jordan

Jordan said Sunday it had foiled a plot against the kingdom involving a half-brother of King Abdullah II, arresting at least 16 suspects it accused of "sedition" and alleging foreign complicity.

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Jordan Says Prince Hamzah, Others 'Undermined Security'

Jordan's Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, a half-brother of the king, and others were planning to "undermine the security" of Jordan, Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday.

While Prince Hamzah has said in a video message he is under house arrest, Safadi said a total of 14 people had been arrested on security charges, in addition to two previously reported arrests.

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Jordan's Prince Hamzah, Sidelined Former Heir to Throne

Jordan's Prince Hamzah, who says he is under house arrest in a dispute with the government, was once the crown prince but lost that title to the son of his half-brother King Abdullah II.

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Jordan: Key Things to Know

Jordan, a former British protectorate, is seen as a key Western ally and anchor of stability in the Middle East.

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Key Dates in Jordan's History

A Jordanian top former royal aide was among several suspects arrested Saturday, as the army warned a half-brother of King Abdullah II against damaging the country's security.

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