Newspaper Review: ICC Inquiry into Israeli War Crimes in Gaza Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, January 17, 2015 (WAFA) – The news that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened an inquiry into war crimes perpetrated by Israel during the latest Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip hit the front page main headlines of Palestinian dailies.

The three dailies reported that ICC opened a preliminary inquiry into war crimes committed by Israel in the Palestinian Territory since summer of 2014.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that the Palestinian Authority (PA) as saying that no one could stop the procedures taken by ICC in this regard, while al-Ayyam quoted Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki as stating: “This is a historical event and we will cooperate with ICC, providing it with all information and documents.”

Both al-Hayat al-Jadida and al-Ayyam reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the ICC probe as ‘scandalous’ and ‘absurd’ announcing that his country would not cooperate with ICC.

Al-Ayyam also quoted Netanyahu as saying that western countries would face criminal prosecution if they remain silent toward the Palestinian move [at the ICC].”

Covering the weekly Friday peaceful marches across the West Bank, the three dailies reported that Israeli occupation forces crushed the marches, injuring several Palestinians.

Al-Quds added in this respect that dozens, including some international solidarity activists, suffocated as a result of inhaling Israeli tear gas.

It also reported that a Palestinian young man and child were shot and injured by Israeli forces to the east of Jabalia in the Gaza Strip and in Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem.

The three dailies highlighted Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s recent remarks criticizing Israel’s reaction to her country’s recognition of the Palestinian state.

Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted Wallstrom as stating: “Israel has crossed all lines” in responding to her country’s recognition of Palestine.

Both al-Hayat and al-Ayyam also quoted her as describing Israel as ‘extremely aggressive’, while al-Ayyam also quoted her as stating: “[Israel’s continued] settlement construction and demolitions make it very difficult to [salvage] the peace process.”

Both al-Hayat al-Jadida and al-Ayyam printed a photo for soldiers arresting a Palestinian protestor in the Nablus village of Kufr Qaddum.

Both al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that the Middle East Quartet is scheduled to convene on January 26th to discuss the situation in Palestinian Territory.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida and al-Quds reported that Paris is exerting ongoing efforts to pass a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to resume ‘peace talks’.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that Washington opposes that PA resubmits the Palestinian statehood draft resolution to the UNSC.

Al-Quds reported that a United Nations human rights expert, namely the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, has cancelled her visit to the Palestinian Territory as a result of being denied an entry visa by Israel.

Both al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that hundreds of Palestinians protested in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound after Friday prayers against the publication of a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Al-Ayyam quoted Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouq as saying: “The prisoners swap portfolio is currently put on hold and Mohammad Dahlan could return to Gaza after the reconciliation is achieved.”

Al-Quds quoted Permanent Representative of Jordan to the UN Dina Kawar as saying: “Israel should demonstrate seriousness about making peace.”

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam quoted the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN Amr Abu Ata as saying: “a just solution should be achieved to the Palestinian cause without any delay.”

Al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted Human Rights Watch as saying: “The Palestinians’ decision to join ICC requires support.”

The three dailies reported Avigdor Lieberman’s remarks calling on Israel to ‘get rid’ of President Mahmoud Abbas and negotiate with Arab countries.