Newspaper Review: Easing Open-fire Restrictions for Israeli Soldiers Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, September 3, 2015 (WAFA) – Remarks made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about reviewing rules when Israeli soldiers may open fire on Palestinians together with preparations for the Palestinian National Council’s upcoming session hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

Reporting on Netanyahu’s remarks about reviewing rules when Israeli forces may open fire on Palestinians, al-Quds said Netanyahu explored the possibility of leaving it entirely up to Israeli forces judgment when it comes to opening fire on Palestinian stone-throwers.

Covering the same issue in its main front page news item, al-Ayyam reported on Netanyahu as having changed open-fire orders on stone-throwers and ordering additional 400 police personnel to be stationed in Jerusalem. The same issue was covered by al-Hayat al-Jadida.

It is worth noting in this regard the recent updates came following the release of a viral video showing Palestinian women confront an Israeli soldier who attempted to detain a child, whose arm was in a cast, for allegedly throwing stones.

On the other hand, al-Quds highlighted Israeli forces and settlers’ assaults against Palestinians across the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) in its main front page news article.

It reported that a Palestinian boy from the Bethlehem refugee camp of ‘Aida and a man near the Gaza-Israel border were shot and injured by Israeli forces. The targeting of the man in ‘Aida refugee camp was also highlighted in al-Ayyam.

It also reported that Israeli forces have delivered demolition orders to eight Palestinian-owned houses to the east of Bethlehem together with a stop-construction order for a Palestinian school in the Hebron locality of Msafer Yatta.

It also said that settlers damaged Palestinian property, vandalizing the main transmission tower providing electricity to the northern West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum.

Moreover, al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that Palestinian youths faced an attempt by Israeli Nature and Parks Authority to seize a large tract of Bab Al-Rahma Islamic cemetery, along the eastern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Youths reportedly pulled down a barbed wire fence Israeli authorities set up around that tract which reportedly constitute 40% of the cemetery.

On its part, al-Hayat al-Jadida opted to highlight remarks by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas when he received the families of Mohammad Tamimi, the boy who was saved by women in the Ramallah village of al-Nabi Saleh, and Mohammad al-‘Atrash, a Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces. Abbas was quoted as pledging that Israeli occupation’s crimes would not go unpunished.

Furthermore, the three dailies covered ongoing preparations for the PNC’s upcoming session scheduled for September 14-15 in Ramallah.

Both al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported on Chairman of the PNC Salim al-Za‘noun as stating that all PNC members, including Hamas-affiliated members, have received invitations to attend the PNC’s ordinary session.

In this regard, al-Quds also reported that several Palestinian politicians and academics have called for the session to be postponed. Al-Ayyam reported that Hamas movement has called all Palestinian factions and all members of the PNC to boycott the session.

Furthermore, al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that French judges investigating claims that late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat was murdered by polonium-210 poisoning have closed the case without bringing any charges for lack of sufficient evidence.

Highlighting the latest developments with regards to the situation of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, al-Quds reported that Israeli Prison Service stormed Nafha prison and that in response, Palestinian detainees took some escalatory steps.

Al-Quds reported that Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shallah and his deputy, Ziad Nakhala, arrived in Cairo to discuss with Egyptian officials ceasefire agreement, opening Rafah border crossing and the kidnapping of four Hamas members in Sinai on August 19.

The three dailies reported on US Secretary of State John Kerry as believing it is likely to move forward Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. Internationally, the three dailies highlighted the tragedy of three-year-old Syrian toddler, Aylan Kurdi, who was washed up dead on a beach in Turkey.