Newspapers Review: Israeli bills on settlements, call to prayer focus of dailies

RAMALLAH, � An Israeli committee's approval of bills that would retroactively legalize settlement outposts across the West Bank and the volume of Muslim call to prayer from loudspeakers in mosques hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida said Israel's legislation committee approved the two bills and al-Ayyam said the committee approved the so-called Formalization Bill that would allow the seizure of Palestinian land for the purpose of settlement construction. It added Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the approval of the bill which s the Muslim call to prayer.

Highlighting official Palestinian reaction to these bills, al-Quds said Palestinian presidency would go to the United Nations Security Council and other UN institutions.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh as warning: The latest Israeli practices would drag the region into disasters.

Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida spotlighted the latest Israeli escalation in demolition of Palestinian property across the West Bank.

They reported Israeli West Jerusalem municipality forced a Palestinian to demolish their own apartments and two stores in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir.

Al-Quds added Israeli forces ordered Palestinian families to evacuate their homes to make room for Israeli military drills in Khirbet Ibzeiq in the northern West Bank district of Tubas.

Al-Ayyam said Israeli bulldozers demolished Palestinian commercial structures for the second time within a week to the west of Tulkarem.

It added Israeli forces seized an 18-dunum plot of land near the Salfit-area villages of Hares and Bruqin for the expansion of the nearby industrial zone of Ariel settlement.

Furthermore, dailies said leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel Sheikh Raed Salah started an open-ended hunger strike to protest his solitary confinement.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said the s representing employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced a day-long strike on Monday in UNRWA facilities in Gaza city.

Spotlighting French bid to convene an international conference, al-Quds reported Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki as affirming France's determination to convene the conference before the end of 2016.

Al-Ayyam said Israeli forces detained 10 Palestinians, including six children, during overnight raids across the West Bank.

Furthermore, al-Ayyam highlighted Palestine's permanent representative to the UN Riyad Mansour's response to US President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

It reported Mansour as threatening to make life miserable for the US in the United Nations should Trump move the embassy.

The dailies said Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the Rafah border crossing to be open for four days starting from Monday.

Source: Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA)

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