Closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound focus of dailies

RAMALLAH, The closure of Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound and Israeli police assaults against Palestinian worshipers dominated the front page headlines in Wednesday’s issue of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.

The dailies reported that Israeli police shut all Al-Aqsa mosque compound’s gates, assaulted Palestinian Muslim worshipers and prevented the call to prayer (adhan).

Al-Ayyam reported that Israeli occupation authorities have caused a new conflagration in Jerusalem through closing the mosque compound and preventing prayers.

Israeli police said in a statement that a firebomb was hurled at a police post near the Dome of the Rock inside the mosque compound, setting fire to it and triggering violence in the place.

Responding to Israeli police’ claims, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported officials from Jerusalem’s Muslim Religious Endowments (Waqf) Department describing the incident of setting fire to the police post as fabricated and the Israeli escalation is pre-planned.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida added in this regard that President Mahmoud Abbas was making intensive contacts with all parties to intervene and pressurize the Israeli government to stop this escalation.

The dailies printed three different photos showing Israeli police violently assaulting Palestinians inside the mosque compound and inside Jerusalem’s Old City.

The killing of two Palestinians in the West Bank districts of Salfit and Hebron also hit the front page headlines in the dailies.

Israeli forces killed at a Palestinian for allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the Old City of Hebron. The slain Palestinian was identified as Yasser Fawzi Shweiki, 27.

Another young Palestinian man was killed by Israeli soldiers in confrontations in the northern West Bank city of Salfit.

Mohammad Shaheen, 23, succumbed to his wounds after he had been shot by Israeli gunfire in the heart.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida added that a third Palestinian, identified as Musa Mohammad Musa, 23, a resident of central Gaza strip town of Deir al-Balah, succumbed to his wounds he had sustained from Israeli gunfire earlier this month during a protest to the east of al-Bureij camp.

Additionally, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that Italy reiterates its position in support of the two-state solution and against Israeli settlement construction.

According to al-Quds, the Palestinian cabinet headed by outgoing premier Rami Hamdallah welcomed the designation of Mohammad Shtayeh as the new prime minister.

Furthermore, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida spotlighted President Mahmoud Abbas’ meeting with Chairman of the Central Elections Commission Hanna Nasser.

Al-Ayyam said that Israeli settlers uprooted dozens of Palestinian olive trees in Burin village, south of Nablus, while another assaulted a Palestinian activist in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

It said that Israeli occupation authorities plan to construct 960 new settler units in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

It also reported senior member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) Talal Abu Zarifa stating that the Egyptian delegation’s return to Gaza is uncertain and that Israel has not fulfilled its pledges.

Regionally, al-Quds said that the League of Arab States called on the United Nations (UN) and the UN Security Council to confront Israeli plans regarding the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

It also reported that Jordan’s King Abdullah II discussed with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the White House senior advisors Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt the latest developments regarding US President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan, dubbed deal of the century.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi affirming his country’s commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative as a basis for solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency