Newspaper Review: Suppression of West Bank Naksa Day Marches, Construction of Leshem Mega-settlement Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, June 6, 2015 (WAFA) – The suppression of West Bank marches protesting Israeli settlement construction and commemorating the 48th anniversary of the Naksa War, together with the construction of the mega-settlement of ‘Leshem’ in the heart of West Bank hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

The three dailies reported that dozens of people were injured, including children, as Israeli forces proceeded to suppress West Bank marches protesting the construction of the wall and settlement and commemorating the Naksa Day, also known as the Six-Day War that erupted on June 5, 1967.

Al-Quds also reported that dozens of Palestinians rallied Friday in the Al-Aqsa mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem to mark the Naksa Day and support hunger-striking Palestinian detainees, particularly hunger-striking detainee Khader ‘Adnan.

It also reported in this regard that two Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces using banned Toto bullets.

Al-Ayyam reported in this regard that Israeli police ‘dispersed’ a march protesting occupation in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and detained three protestors.

It also reported that Palestinians organized a sit-in and a march in the Hebron village of Surif in support of the Hebron village of Susiys, slated for demolition by Israeli forces.

The three dailies printed a photo featuring Palestinians rallying in Al-Aqsa mosque compound and holding flags of Palestine and banners showing a photo of detainee Khader ‘Adnan, who has been on hunger strike since May 4 to protest his administrative detention without charge or trial.

One banner read: ‘Freedom for hunger-striking detainee Khader ‘Adnan. The strike continues either to victory or martyrdom.”

Al-Ayyam also printed a photo showing Palestinians and international peace activists, apparently from Combatants for Peace organization, raising signs reading “Save Susiya”, “There is another road”, and “down with the occupation.”

While the suppression of the Friday weekly marches made the main front page news article in al-Hayat and al-Ayyam, al-Quds opted to highlight the construction of the mega-settlement of ‘Leshem’ in the heartland of the West Bank.

It reported that having completed the construction of the settlement bloc of ‘Ariel’ to the Jordan Valley, Israel has effectively buried the dream of establishing the Palestinian state.

Reporting on the same issue, al-Ayyam quoted the Israeli daily of Haaretz as saying that Israel has thus undermined this dream forever.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported in this regard that the new settlement is being built at an accelerated pace to complete the construction of the mega settlement bloc of ‘Ariel’ in the heart of the West Bank, effectively undermining the two-state solution.

Al-Quds quoted PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat as saying in this respect: “The Israeli government’s program is to replace the two –state solution by an apartheid system.”

On the other hand, al-Ayyam opted to highlight in its main front page news item the French government’s efforts to sooth Israel’s anger over France mobile phone company of Orange’s decision to withdraw its trademark from Israel.

Attempting to calm down Israel’s rage at the move, the French government was reported as saying that they oppose to any boycott of Israel, but they refuse settlement construction.

The French government was also quoted as saying: “It is for the president of the Orange group to determine the commercial strategy of his company.”

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported in this regard that the Chairman of French Orange, Stephane Richard, has expressed his apology for Israel.

Al-Quds reported that many Israeli figures called on the UN Security Council to recognize Palestine and impose boycott on Israeli settlements across the West Bank.

It further reported that Israel granted ninety Palestinian businessmen from the Gaza Strip ‘BMG’ permits to facilitate their movements for 6 months.

With regard to the 48th anniversary of the Naksa Day, al-Quds reported that Palestinian national and political forces affirmed their commitment to the Palestinian refugees’ right to return and establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted Palestinian cabinet as stating: “Our people are more determined than ever to gain freedom and independence.”

Regionally, the head of Lebanon’s powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, was reported in al-Quds and al-Ayyam as threatening that ]if Israel threatens to displace 1.5 million Lebanese when they attack Lebanon[, his group would displace ‘millions’ in Israel.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported Presidential Advisor Nimr Hammad as denying reports that Jordanian passports have been revoked from 30 high ranking Palestinian officials, slamming such news reports as fabrications.

It reported that about 850,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli forces since June 5, 1967.