Newspaper Review: Abbas’ Meeting with Malak al-Khatib Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, February 18, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces and settlers’ practices across West Bank districts together with President Mahmoud Abbas’ reception of 14-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl Malak al-Khatib after serving a two-month imprisonment sentence, hit the front page headlines in the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.

Al-Quds reported on its main front page that Israeli forces and settlers demolished the protest tent village of Bawwabat al-Quds (Gate to Jerusalem) for the eighth time in a row.

It said that clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth, after settlers stormed Joseph Tomb to the east of Nablus.

The paper published a story about a raid and a detention campaign, which was launched by Israeli forces, during which Palestinians were prevented from farming their lands and Palestinian Olive trees were uprooted.

While al-Quds highlighted Israeli practices across West Bank, al-Ayyam opted to highlight the situation in Libya.

It reported that Egypt has been launching airstrikes targeting the ‘Islamic State’ group and called the United Nations to authorize a military intervention in Libya. It added the UN Security Council will convene on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

Al-Quds said reported in this respect that a candle vigil was organized in Ramallah in protest and condemnation of terrorism that claimed the lives of 21 Egyptians Copts who were allegedly beheaded recently.

The paper quoted Fatah senior official Nabil Sha‘ath as stating during a meeting with European Union ambassadors: “Israel’s seizing of Palestinian lands and money calls for questioning the Palestinian Authority’s continuity.”

Al-Hayat al-Jadida in contrast highlighted in its main front page news item Abbas’ meeting with Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs Charles Flanagan, stating that he stressed the seriousness of withholding Palestinians’ tax revenues.

It also said Abbas expressed his condolences to the Egyptian Ambassador to Palestine Wael ‘Atteya and received recently released Palestinian schoolgirl Malak al-Khatib.

Al-Quds printed a photo featuring Abbas and al-Khatib at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, while al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida printed a photo featuring Abbas expressing his condolences to ‘Atteya at the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah.

Regarding the situation in Gaza, al-Quds reported that Israeli forces launched mock raids and opened gunfire on Palestinian houses and farmlands in the Gaza Strip.

Al-Ayyam said three Palestinian children were injured when an unidentified object exploded in Beit Lahia.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that an Egyptian court has deferred a decision on listing Hamas as a terrorist organization.

It also reported that demolition notices were served for hundreds of Palestinian homes in the Naqab in southern Israel by the so-called Israeli Zoning and Construction Committees

Highlighting the Palestinian cabinet’s weekly session, it reported that the cabinet condemned the killing of Palestinians in the United States and Egyptians in Libya.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted cabinet sources as announcing that the 2015 draft budget would be tailored to correspond to the financial crisis gripping PA.

It reported that EU has provided 212 million Euro in financial aid for the PA.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted Quarter Envoy Tony Blair as stating: “Gaza should be connected to the world,” and “talks and peacemaking could not succeed without improving the conditions of Palestinians.”