Israeli plan to build thousands of housing units in settlements focus of dailies

RAMALLAH, News about the Israeli plans to build more than 4700 housing units on Palestinian lands in the West Bank hit the front pages of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies on Wednesday.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida, al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that the Israeli authorities have decided to construct more than 4700 new housing units on lands of the village of al-Walaja, west of the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

They also said that the authorities have approved building a new settlement in Beit Hanina, a neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that the Israeli military ordered three Palestinian families in al-Burj area in the northern Jordan Valley to leave their homes on Tuesday so that the army can hold military drills, adding that they ordered four other families from Umm al-Jamal area to also leave their homes for the same reason.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida said that President Mahmoud Abbas received in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah a delegation from the Palestinian Cultural and Educational Forum, where he praised the achievements of the Palestinian youth.

The paper also reported that Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Josep Borrell said during a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad Malki that the US is losing its mediator role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict due to its bias to Israel.

Al-Ayyam said that 25 Palestinians were injured after Israeli forces attacked a protest at Beit Hanoun/Erez crossing with Gaza against the US decision to cut aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Al-Hayat al-Jadida said that three journalists were injured by Israeli forces during a protest west of Ramallah and forces also attacked a solidarity protest with imprisoned journalist Ali Dar Ali at Ofer military camp near Ramallah.

According to the paper, the Palestinian Cabinet condemned the Trump Administration decision to cut financial aid to UNRWA and denounced Israeli threats to expel UNRWA from occupied Jerusalem and shut down its institutions, including schools, health clinics, and service centers.

Al-Quds said that a delegation from the Joint List, an Arab bloc in the Israeli parliament, called on Europe to condemn Israel’s racist Nation-State Law.

Al-Ayyam quoted Hamas leader in Gaza, Yehya Sinwar, saying that Hamas does not want war and wants calm as per the 2014 understandings with Israel.

Al-Quds quoted him also saying that the reconciliation with Fatah has reached a headend.

The paper said in another subject that Jordan decided to slash fees for Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents seeking to renew their Jordanian passports or obtain a new one by 75% from 200 Jordanian dinar to 50 in a way to reduce pressure on them.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency