Newspaper Review: Torching of Bethlehem Mosque Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, February 26, 2015 (WAFA) – Torching Al-Huda mosque in the Bethlehem village of Jab‘a in southern West Bank dominated the front page headlines of three Palestinian Arabic dailies.

Both al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that settlers torched a mosque in Jab‘a village, while al-Quds identified it as a ‘Price Tag’ attack, committed by Israeli settlers.

They also reported that settlers carried out attacks in Hebron and the Bethlehem village of Nahhalin, opening fire on Palestinian houses and uprooting [a hundred[ olive saplings. Al-Quds added in this regard that British Consul-General in Jerusalem Alastair McPhail condemned the mosque torching.

The paper printed a photo featuring Palestinians examining the damage caused to the mosque while al-Ayyam printed another photo featuring two Israeli soldiers standing in front of the mosque with anti-Arab racist phrases sprayed on its wall.

While al-Quds and al-Ayyam highlighted torching the mosque as their main front page news item, al-Hayat al-Jadida focused on the tragedy of three children from the same family who were killed after fire broke out in their apartment in a multi-story building in Hebron.

Al-Quds reported that clashes took place between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the Bethlehem village of al-Khader in protest of the assassination of Jihad al-Ja‘fari, 19, who was shot dead by Israeli forces during a dawn raid in Duheisha refugee camp.

The three dailies also reported that the Israeli Electric Company disconnected electricity for an hour to Nablus and Jenin districts.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam quoted Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-‘Arabi as saying that deliberations are underway in order to have a United Nations Security Council’s resolution setting a deadline for the Israeli occupation and the establishment of the Palestinian state.

Covering the rising tensions between Israel and the United States over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming controversial Congress speech, al-Quds and al-Ayyam quoted US President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice as stating that Netanyahu’s speech is “destructive to the fabric of the US-Israel relations.”

Al-Hayat reported that Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman could distribute copies of Charlie Hebdo as part of his electoral campaign.