reinforcements around Gaza, settlers’ takeover of Jerusalem building

JERUSALEM, Israeli military reinforcements around the besieged Gaza Strip and the takeover of a building in East Jerusalem hit the front page headlines in Palestinian local dailies on Friday.

Al-Quds reported that Israel has reinforced troops along Gaza border as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens a very harsh blow ]against Hamas in the event of attacks[.

Netanyahu reportedly made his remarks during a conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Highlighting her visit to Israel, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported Merkel expressing Germany’s concern regarding settlement construction, which makes the two-state solution difficult to achieve.

Al-Ayyam highlighted a major buildup of Israeli forces around Gaza as the Higher National Committee of the Great March of Return has finalized preparations for today’s protests, dubbed the Friday of Steadfastness and Resilience.

Additionally, the dailies reported that Israeli Jewish settlers took over a historical Palestinian building in the Old City of Jerusalem’s neighborhood of Aqbat Darwish.

According to al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida, the Israeli occupation municipality of Jerusalem has developed a plan to remove the UN relief agency responsible for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) from occupied East Jerusalem.

They added that 15-year-old Ahmad Abu Habel was laid to his rest at his hometown of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.

Abu Habel was reportedly shot and killed by Israeli forces who opened fire at Palestinian protestors near Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing Wednesday evening.

According to al-Quds, scores of Israeli Jewish settlers forced their way into flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as Jordan’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Tariq Hammouri toured reconstruction projects at the holy site.

Regarding other Israeli military’s violations against Palestinians, the dailies said Israeli forces has shuttered a road leading to eight Palestinian villages, west of Ramallah. The closed road is Road 443.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida also reported that Israeli forces conducted multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, detaining 14 Palestinians.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that Israeli forces injured a Palestinian and caused dozens others to suffocate from tear gas during confrontations in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia and Abu Dis town, south of Jerusalem.

Confrontations reportedly erupted since Israeli forces blocked roads leading to the Abu Dis campus of al-Quds University and three local schools, disrupting education.

Moreover, al-Quds spotlighted a new Israeli election poster by Netanyahu’s Likud party, suggesting that Jaffa can be either a Hebrew city or one taken over by the Islamist movement, referring to Palestinians, or infiltrators, referring to African refugees.

Yet, excerpts of Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar’s interview published in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth and Italy’s la Repubblica newspaper made the front page headlines.

Al-Sinwar was reported in al-Quds expressing his interest in bringing about ceasefire in return for having the Israeli siege on Gaza lifted.

He was also reported in both dailies stating: ]War[ is in no one’s interest and that War gains nothing.

It is worth noting that Hamas chief has denied granting the interview to the Israeli daily newspaper.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that UNRWA Employees Union has suspended its protests for 10 days to grant the UN relief agency’s administration the chance to solve the issue of layoffs.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida highlighted member of the PLO Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi’s remarks responding to US administration’s plans to withdraw from the provision of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that allows countries to sue the US at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague.

Ashrawi was reported slamming the withdrawal of the US from the Vienna Convention as a departure from the international law and an effort to perpetuate chaos.

Regionally, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida spotlighted Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait’s plan to pump billions of dollars in support of Jordan’s economy.

Al-Quds said that the Gulf countries signed with Jordan a series of deals worth USD $2.5 billion, while al-Hayat al-Jadida added that the countries announced a USD $1.16 billion deposit in the Central Bank of Jordan.

Al-Quds printed a translation for the Washington Institute’s policy analysis titled If Trump Wants the Ultimate Deal, He Must Not Repeat These Mistakes.

The analysis was written by former US diplomat Dennis Ross and Director of the Washington Institute’s Project on the Middle East Peace Process David Makovsky.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency

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