Newspaper Review: Israeli Authorities’ Rejection of Kedem Plan, Israeli Airstrike on Beit Lahia as Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, June 8, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli Higher Planning Council’s rejection of the Elad settler organization’s plan to build a massive new archeological visitors’ center to be known as ‘Kedem Compound’ in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan together with Israeli airstrike on Beit Lahia hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

Al-Ayyam reported in its main front page news article that Israel carried out an airstrike on a site in Beit Lahia while Salafist groups have affirmed that they would continue to fire rockets toward Israel.

Highlighting the findings of an opinion poll published in the Israeli newspaper of Yediot Ahronot, it reported that the majority of the Israelis believe that a new ‘round of fighting’ will break out on Gaza front.

Al-Quds highlighted the air strike in its main front page news article and added that settlers forced their way into Al-Aqsa mosque compound and that Israel plans to expand the university in Ariel [illegal] West Bank settlement.

It also highlighted an Israeli ‘security deployment’ in East Jerusalem and that Israeli forces raided Beit Jala city and the Hebron town of Beit Ummar.

Highlighting the same issue, al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that Israel sealed off Beit Hanoun and Karm Abu Salem border crossings with Gaza.

It also reported that Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians, including a girl, from Hebron district.

The three dailies also reported that a Palestinian young man was detained in the Old City of Jerusalem purportedly for planning to carry out a stabbing attack.

On the other hand, al-Hayat al-Jadida highlighted in its main front page news item the Israeli Higher Planning Council’s rejection of the Elad settler organization’s plan to build the massive archeological visitors’ center of ‘Kedem Compound’ in Silwan.

It reported that residents of Wadi Hilweh neighborhood of Silwan have foiled Elad settler organization’s plan to build the center.

Al-Quds reported on the same issue, describing it as a ‘great achievement’ for the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem.

It is worth noting in this respect that ‘Elad’ organization plans to build the new center on top of an archeological excavation site. The organization itself, Elad, the Hebrew acronym for the so-called ‘To the City of David’, is a private settler organization that was founded in 1986 with the explicit goal of displacing Palestinians from East Jerusalem and settling Jews in their place. It achieves this by providing assistance in the ‘purchase’ or seizure of Palestinian properties.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that Israel has been exerting intensified efforts to prevent an EU decision to label settlements’ products in Europe.

Highlighting the recent successes of BDS Movement and the controversy over France mobile phone Company of Orange’s decision to withdraw its trademark from Israel, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has allocated $100 million to counter BDS movement.

He was reported in al-Ayyam as calling for the formation of a national unity government to address the consequences of the boycott.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported in this regard that Israel has taken a ‘tougher’ response against France Orange’s CEO and “summoned him to hear what he has to say”.

Al-Ayyam quoted PLO Executive Committee member Nabil Sha‘ath as saying: “We expect that more European countries would recognize the Palestinian state during the few upcoming months.”

It was reported in al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida that China has demanded Israel not to employ Chinese workers in West Bank settlements.

Finally, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that far-right Israeli minister Naftali Bennett has called on the international community to endorse Israel’s annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.