Newspaper Review: Israel’s Quelling of Peaceful Marches, Protesting East Jerusalem Land Seizure as Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, August 22, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces’ violent quelling of weekly Friday marches protesting against the wall and settlement construction across the West Bank together with Israeli plans to seize Palestinians’ land in East Jerusalem hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

Highlighting Israeli plans to seize Palestinians’ land in East Jerusalem in its main front page news item, al-Quds reported that the Israeli ‘Jerusalem Municipality’ has decided to transform 13.000 dunums of Palestinians’ land on East Jerusalem’s Jabal al-Masharif (Mount Scopus), to a temporary park, introducing a new technique to seize Palestinians’ lands in the city.

Highlighting the same issue as part of their main front page news articles, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that Palestinians performed Friday prayers on lands threatened with seizure in the Silwan’s area of Batn al-Hawa. This was also reported in al-Quds.

On the other hand, the three dailies reported in their main front page news articles that dozens of Palestinians suffocated and were injured as Israeli forces quelled weekly Friday marches.

The three dailies printed different photos for scenes of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the Qalqiliya village of Kufr Qaddum and the Ramallah village of Nabi Saleh.

Furthermore, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that five Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons have started a hunger strike in protest of their administrative detention.

Highlighting US criticism of Palestinian house demolitions by Israel, al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that US State Department as being ‘troubled’ by Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida, in this regard, quoted the US State Department as stating that the evictions ]of Palestinian families[ and the demolitions ]of their houses by Israel[ in the West Bank and Jerusalem are ‘provocative’ and “indicative of a damaging trend.”

Highlighting UN concerns over Palestinian house demolitions, particularly those carried out Monday in vulnerable Palestinian Bedouin communities in Area C, under full Israeli military control, near East Jerusalem, al-Ayyam reported the UN as noting an “increasing frequency” of house demolitions in the West Bank, displacing 78 Palestinians, “the largest number of Palestinians displaced in the West Bank in one day in nearly three years.”

Meanwhile, al-Hayat al-Jadida reported the UN as noting that Israel has demolished 63 Palestinian homes during the past week, displacing around 132 Palestinians, including 82 children, which according to the UN is the highest number recorded in the past three years.

Covering media reports about indirect Hamas-Israel talks to consolidate a long-term ceasefire, the three dailies reported Hamas’ chief in exile Khalid Mash‘al as saying the long-term ceasefire “seem positive, but no agreements have been reached yet.”

Meanwhile, al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that two Palestinian children, who are also brothers, were injured when an unexploded device left behind the Israeli army detonated in Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

Highlighting media reports about the Palestinian National Council (PNC)’s meeting in September, al-Quds reported PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yousef as saying that the PLO Executive Committee would convene Saturday in order to “define the details” of the PNC’s upcoming meeting.

Highlighting the Israeli airstrike on the Syrian Golan Heights, the three dailies reported that Israel military targeted the Golan Heights with airstrikes, claiming the lives of five civilians.

They also reported that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad al-Hindi has rejected Israeli claims that the group fired rockets from Syria into Israel’s Galilee region.