Newspaper Review: Postponement of PNC Session, Sandstorm Engulfing Middle East as Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, September 9, 2015 (WAFA) – The postponement of the Palestine National Council (PNC’s) session and the heavy sandstorm engulfing parts of the Middle East hit the front page headlines in Palestinian daily newspapers.

Both al-Quds and al-Ayyam covered the possible postponement of the PNC’s session in their main front page news article.

Al-Quds reported PNC Secretary-General Mohammad Sbeih as announcing that the PNC’s session would be postponed in order to hold further consultations among all Palestinian factions.

Al-Ayyam reported in this regard that Chairman of the PNC Salim al-Za‘noun would settle Wednesday the issue of the PNC’s session amidst growing calls for postponement.

Furthermore, the dense sandstorm engulfing parts of the Middle East featured as the main front page headlines in al-Hayat al-Jadida. It was also covered in al-Quds and al-Ayyam.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida and al-Quds reported that the dense sandstorm engulfing the Middle East, including Palestine, left eight people dead and caused suffocation to hundreds of people across Lebanon and Syria.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported on General –Director of the Palestinian Meteorological Department Youssef Abu As‘ad as saying that the storm would subside Wednesday noon and that temperatures would continue to rise until next Saturday.

Furthermore, al-Quds quoted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as expressing his “willingness” to “positively deal with the efforts to resume peace talks,” adding that Israeli settlement construction constitutes “the fundamental obstacle” [to peace talks].

The three dailies reported that Abbas met with the Norwegian Envoy for the Middle East Peace Process in Ramallah and is scheduled Wednesday to meet his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo.

Highlighting the United Nations international meeting on the question of Palestine, which took place in Brussels on Tuesday, al-Quds reported on the attendees as slamming Israeli settlement construction as a ‘war crime’. It said that halting settlement activities is ‘an international legal responsibility’.

Highlighting Israeli forces and settlers’ assaults against the Palestinian people and property across the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT), al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that three Palestinians were injured after being assaulted by settlers to the south of Nablus.

Al-Quds also reported in this regard that Palestinian reporters, and female students enrolled in Shari‘a schools were denied access into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Israeli police.

It also reported that an agricultural road was closed down and a plant nursery was demolished by Israeli forces to the south of Bethlehem.

Al-Ayyam reported that three Palestinian minors were detained by Israeli forces purportedly for hurling stones at Israeli vehicles in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-‘Issawiya.

Furthermore, al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that the US has placed three senior members of Hamas, namely Yehia Sinwar, Rawhi Mushtaha and Mohammed Deif, as well as Lebanese Samir al-Kuntar on its “terror blacklist”.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri was reported in al-Quds as denouncing the decision as “immoral and against international law”.

Besides, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported a senior Israeli military commander as admitting that the Israeli settlers’ arson attack against the Dawabsha family in the Nablus village of Duma is a clear act of Jewish terrorism.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported a Middle East Quartet expert’s estimations that Palestinian exports to Jordan would grow by 30% following the adoption of new exporting procedures at al-Karamah (Allenby) border crossing, between West Bank and Jordan.