Newspaper Review: Palestinian Government Reshuffle, Israel’s Retaliation over Shooting of Settlers as Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, July 1, 2015 (WAFA) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to reshuffle the national consensus government together with news that Israeli forces carried out reprisal measures following the shooting of four Israeli settlers near an illegal West Bank settlement late Monday, hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

Highlighting the Palestinian government reshuffle in their main front page news items, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that Abbas has informed the PLO Executive Committee about his decision to designate ]current Prime Minister Rami[ Hamdallah to reshuffle the national consensus government.

They also reported that the PLO Executive Committee has affirmed its adherence to national dialogue as the only way to overcome obstacles that block ending the ‘black’ intra-Palestinian division.

Though al-Ayyam covered the government reshuffle, it opted to give prominence to Israeli forces’ reprisals following the shooting of four Israeli settlers near the illegal settlement of Shvut Rachel to the south of Nablus.

It reported that Israeli military conducted an extensive combing and searching operations and that according to initial reports by Israeli military leaders, a ‘single cell’ committed the attack which claimed the life of one settler.

It further reported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as slamming the Palestinian Authority (PA) for not condemning the incident.

and al-Ayyam reported that Israeli settlers attempted last night to storm Mughir village to the east of Ramallah.

Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that racist graffiti that called for slaughtering Arabs were spray-painted in Hebrew near the East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa.

The three dailies reported that Israeli soldiers stationed at Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah shot and injured a Palestinian young man purportedly for running at a soldier shouting “Allahu Akbar”; [an Islamic phrase, called Takbir in Arabic, meaning ‘God is greater’ or ‘God is [the] greatest.]

Al-Quds further reported that Israeli forces handed 12 demolition and stop-construction notices for Palestinian residential structures near Yatta to the south of Hebron.

On the other hand, the dailies highlighted shutting down the offices of Jawwal, a major Palestinian phone company, in Gaza by Hamas.

The three dailies reported that Hamas police has closed a Jawwal’s headquarters in Gaza.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that in the aftermath of the closure of Jawwal’s headquarters, the Palestinian Telecommunication Company (Paltel) decided to close all Paltel and Jawwal branches in Gaza.

Al-Quds quoted Jawwal CEO ‘Ammar al-‘Aker as slamming the closure as a direct harm to Palestinian citizens’ interest in Gaza, which would further aggravate their suffering.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported the Palestinian government as slamming the closure as “illegitimate practices” that would “deepen the division.”

Highlighting reports that Israel and Jordan held negotiations over the possible re-opening of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for non-Muslim visitors, al-Quds reported Netanyahu as denying that any contacts were made with Jordan in this respect.

Al-Ayyam reported that Israeli authorities started to deport dozens of international activists who participated in the Freedom Flotilla III, aimed at breaking the Israeli sea blockade on Gaza, after their ship, named Marianne, was commandeered to the Ashdod seaport by the Israeli navy.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported in this regard that Israel deported Tunisian ex-president Moncef Marzouki after intercepting the Gaza-bound Swedish-flagged Marianne.