Newspaper Review: Abbas’ Remarks in Luxembourg, Israeli’s Release of Youngest Palestinian Detainee Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, February 14, 2015 (WAFA) – Remarks made by President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to Luxembourg about the ongoing withholding of Palestinian tax revenues by Israel as well as the release of the youngest Palestinian female detainee from Israeli prisons hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

Highlighting his’ visit as the main front page news item, both al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted Abbas as stating: “We will be obliged to take harsh steps if Israel keeps withholding our money [PA’s tax revenues[.”

They also reported Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn as announcing that the status of the Palestinian representation would be upgraded.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida printed a photo featuring Abbas shaking hands with Asselborn.

While al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida highlighted Abbas’ visit to Luxembourg as their main front page news item, al-Quds opted to highlight the weekly peaceful Friday anti-settlement and wall protest marches across the West Bank.

It reported in this regard that clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian activists during the weekly protest marches, noting that several Palestinian activists were shot and injured and others detained.

It also reported that Israeli forces opened heavy gunfire on Palestinian houses and farmlands to the east of Khan Younes and that an Israeli bulldozer pushed a pile of burning tires into a Palestinian’s house in the Qalqilya village of Kafr Qaddum.

Al-Ayyam described these marches as ‘anti apartheid wall’ and printed a photo featuring a Palestinian waiving a Palestinian flag and confronting an Israeli soldier in the Ramallah village of Bil‘in.

Describing these rallies as ‘anti-terrorism’, al-Hayat reported that dozens of activists were shot and injured by Israeli occupation forces, including Head of the Palestinian Authority’s Committee against the Wall and Settlements Jamil al-Barghouthi and Issam al-Rimani, a photographer for the newspaper al-Hayat al-Jadida.

It also reported that international activists were also attacked by forces and that the activists in Bil‘in march commemorated Palestine solidarity activist Kayla Mueller, who was recently killed in ‘Islamic State’ captivity, and the three Muslim-American students who were killed in North Carolina, Yusor Abu Salha, Razan Abu Salha and Deah Barakat.

It printed a photo featuring activists waiving Palestinian flags and holding placards reading “Kayla lives in our hearts”.

The three dailies also highlighted Israel’s release of 14-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl Malak al-Khatib, from an Israeli prison.

They printed different photos featuring al-Khatib shortly after being released and greeted by her family and Palestinian crowds.

Highlighting the fragile situation in the occupied Palestinian Territory, outgoing Israeli military Chief of Staff Benny Gantz was reported in the dailies as waning that the Palestinian Authority might collapse at any given moment should Israel not transfer the Palestinian tax revenues.

Al-Ayyam also reported him as warning that next April is the ‘crucial moment’.

Publishing the outcome of an Associated Press (AP) report on the latest Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, al-Ayyam reported that 89% of the fatalities were civilians.

They reported that Abbs phoned the Mohammad Abu Salha, the father of both Yosur and Razan, who were together with another Muslim-American recently killed in North Carolina, expressing his condolences.