Newspapers Review: Settlement construction in East Jerusalem focus of the Palestinian dailies

RAMALLAH, Israel’s decision to move ahead with the construction of hundreds of colonial settlement units south of East Jerusalem hit the front page headlines in today’s issue of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.
Al-Quds daily reported that the Israeli occupation authorities have opened bidding for the construction of 1257 colonial settler units in occupied Jerusalem.
Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida dailies added that the new units would be constructed in the colonial settlement of Givat Hamatos, built on the land of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Safafa.
Al-Quds and al-Ayyam warned that the new settlement threatens to cut off Jerusalem from Bethlehem and other Palestinian areas.
The dailies highlighted the European Union’s (EU) condemnation of the construction of the new settlement units.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida and al-Ayyam said that the EU reiterated its firm position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, and quoted EU High Representative Josep Borrell stating that all “settlements are illegal under international law.”
They added that the EU’s Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal described the construction of the new settler units as “deeply worrying development”.
Palestinian Presidency spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh was reported in the dailies asserting that all Israeli colonial settlements are “illegitimate”.
He was also reported slamming US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned visit to the colonial settlement of Psagot as rejected and condemned.
The dailies said on a different topic that the Israeli occupation warplanes and artillery struck multiple locations in the eastern besieged Gaza Strip.
According to al-Hayat al-Jadida and al-Quds, Israeli forces carried out multiple raids, sparking confrontations across the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that Israeli forces seized four Palestinian-owned tractors and a vehicle in the northern Jordan Valley.
They added that Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers trying to access their farmlands near Yatta town, south of Hebron.
Al-Ayyam also reported that Israeli troops cracked down on Palestinian workers close to the military checkpoint of Nilin, west of Ramallah city, injuring a number of them.
The workers were attempting to cross into Israel through some of the gates in Israel’s apartheid barrier.
The dailies covered the latest statistics on the outbreak of Covid-19 in the occupied territories.
They said that 976 Palestinians tested positive for Covid-19, seven others died of it and 585 patients recovered.
Al-Quds and al-Ayyam added that Nablus governorate would be placed under a five-day lockdown to fight the pandemic outbreak.
Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported the Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry announcing that 54 Palestinians contracted the virus in the diaspora.
The Health Ministry said Covid-19 has become a social epidemic.
Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that President Mahmoud Abbas continues to receive telegrams congratulating him on the 32nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
The dailies added that Abbas sent a letter to the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, praising Pakistan’s positions in support of the Palestinian cause.
Moreover, al-Quds reported international, Arab and Palestinian law experts asserting that Israeli courts discriminate between “Palestinian blood and Israeli blood,” in reference to the failure to convict those who murder Palestinians.
It printed a feature story titled Palestinian officials stress the need to translate the Declaration of Independence into a reality.
It reported 28 Palestinian families are at the risk of eviction from their houses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, asserting that the Israeli courts are using forged legal documents to evict them.
Al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that a Fatah delegation and a Hamas delegation left to Cairo to continue the national reconciliation talks.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA)

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