Newspapers review: Renewed demonstrations over Jerusalem focus of dailies

RAMALLAH� Renewed demonstrations that evolved into clashes over the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital hit the front page headlines in Palestinian Arabic dailies on Friday.

The dailies reported that scores of Palestinians were injured when Israeli forces suppressed demonstrations that continued to rock the occupied Palestinian territories for the eighth consecutive day.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam also reported that Israeli warplanes conducted airstrikes targeting several sites in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Al-Quds said that US Vice President Mike Pence has delayed his upcoming visit to Israel and the region to next Wednesday.

Al-Ayyam explained that Pence has cancelled his visit to Palestine, and would only visit Egypt and Israel, while al-Hayat al-Jadida noted that Pence has cancelled his visit to Bethlehem after being rebuffed by Palestinians.

The dailies said that Egyptian authorities has announced they would open Rafah border crossing with the besieged Gaza Strip for four days starting from Saturday.

Al-Quds added that French President Emmanuel Macron and Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel are promoting an initiative that would declare Jerusalem as the joint capital of Israel and Palestine.

It reported the Foreign Ministry stating that the Palestinian people refuses to accept the reality of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The meeting of the heads of Arab parliaments in Morocco to coordinate their action following the US move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital also dominated the front page headlines.

The dailies reported heads of Arab parliaments announcing that the US was no longer a sponsor for the Middle East peace process.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida added that they have reaffirmed their support to President Mahmoud Abbas and approved a program of action to confront the US move.

The dailies also spotlighted Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh response to White House statement saying Abbas’ rhetoric at the OIC session in Istanbul prevents peace.

Abu Rudenieh was reported in al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida voicing rejection of the White House statement and deeming it incorrect.

He was also reported in al-Ayyam stating that the obstacle to peace process was the ongoing Israeli occupation and settlement construction.

He was also reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida reiterating Abbas’ commitment to achieving just peace.

Furthermore, al-Quds and al-Ayyam spotlighted Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh’s statement during a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas’ foundation in Gaza.

Haniyeh was reported in al-Quds pledging that the Palestinian people would reverse Trump’s decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital one and for all.

He was also reported in al-Ayyam calling for fast-tracking reconciliation steps and building strong regional alliances.

Al-Quds said that Christmas & New Year’s Eve celebrations are curbed in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Nazareth in protest of the US move on Jerusalem.

According to al-Ayyam, Israeli forces detained 21 Palestinians in multiple overnight raids across the West Bank.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that the Israeli government has agreed to exclude illegal settlements ]as well as East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Golan Heights[ from an economic deal with the European Union.

Both dailies highlighted a Christian-Islamic summit chaired by Lebanese Maronite Cardinal Bechara Rai that denounced the US move on Jerusalem.

According to al-Ayyam, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil eyes to build an embassy in East Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state.

Highlighting the European Union (EU) leaders’ summit in Brussels, al-Hayat al-Jadida said that the EU leaders have underlined their unchanged stance on the status of Jerusalem and support to the two-state solution.

Source: Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA)