Newspaper Review: US Judge Orders PA to Deposit $10M in Cash over Attacks, Start of School Years Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, August 25, 2015 (WAFA) – News that a US judge ordered the Palestinian Authority (PA) to post $10 million in cash or bond while appealing a ruling to pay hundreds of millions of US dollars to American victims of attacks together with the start of the 2015/16 school year hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

Covering the US judge’s order in its main front page news article, al-Quds reported that a US judge has ordered the PA to post a very expensive bond in favor of 10 US families pending appeal of a verdict that awarded American victims and their families damages amounting to $655 million.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported in this regard that the US judge ordered the PA to post $10 million in bond in a “terrorism support” case. Al-Ayyam added in this regard that the US judge has responded to the US Administration’s recommendation that he “carefully considers” the PA’s finances.

Furthermore, the remarks made by Premier Rami Hamdallah and President Mahmoud Abbas on the occasion of the start of the 2015/16 school years as well as the inauguration of a university faculty in Gaza hit the front pages headlines in daily newspapers.

Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that Hamdallah visited a school in Tulkarem and another in the Nablus village of Duma to mark the first day of the  new school year of 2015-2016.

Al-Quds added in this regard that a total of 1.2 million Palestinian students have started their school year. Al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted Hamdallah as stating: “The international community must oblige Israel to halt all of its practices that violate Palestinian children’s right to a safe education.

President Mahmoud Abbas’ remarks marking the inauguration of a new faculty in the Gaza-based al-Azhar University were covered in al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida. This news item made it as the main front page news article in al-Hayat al-Jadida.

Abbas was quoted in both dailies as urging the Palestinian people to establish more “cohesion” and reject “distorted solutions” to the Palestinian question.

Furthermore, al-Quds and al-Ayyam highlighted the start of the 2015/2016 school year in the UNRWA-run schools following the financial crisis that threatened its delay.

Al-Quds reported that UNRWA’s Commissioner General, Pierre Krähenbühl has suspended the decision to force staff to take an unpaid exceptional leave. He was also reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida as stating that thanks to the support provided by the PA ]and other donor countries[ the UNRWA has been able to overcome its funding shortfall necessary for the start of the new school year.

They also reported that over 200,000 school students in Gaza were forced to return home after local staff went on a strike on the first day of the new school year and that a total of 9,000 public teachers have not yet received their salaries.

Moreover, al-Quds and al-Ayyam highlight the Israeli move to outlaw Muslim male and female worshippers, often referred to as “Murabitin” (for males) and “Murabitat” (for females), who barricade themselves inside Al-Aqsa mosque compound on a daily basis to block settlers’ entry into the site. This theme was covered as the main front page news item in al-Ayyam.

The two dailies read that Israel intends to outlaw the “Murabitin” and “Murabitat” who defend the mosque.

Furthermore, al-Quds reported that the Palestinian National Council is set to hold its extraordinary session on September 15.

Meanwhile, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported on Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as saying that Israel had a “right to have sovereignty” over the West Bank, and a right to build settlements there.

Finally, both dailies reported that a total of 80,000 UK nationals have signed a petition urging the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes when he visits London next month.