Newspapers Review: Abbas’ letter to Trump on relocation of US embassy focus of dailies

RAMALLAH, January 10, 2017 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas’ letter to US President-elect Donald Trump urging him to abstain from moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem hit the front page headlines in Palestinian local dailies on Tuesday.

The three dailies said Abbas has urged Trump not move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida added Abbas sent letters to heads of states around the world, urging them to exert as much efforts as possible to prevent this move.

Al-Quds added Abbas explained in his letter “the destructive effects” of such a move to the peace process, the two-state solution and regional stability.

Al-Ayyam reported Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki stating the Palestinian leadership is taking proactive action following Trump’s plan to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported secretary-general of PLO’s executive committee, Saeb Erekat, as stating in this regard the Palestinian leadership is poised to make critical decisions to face this dangerous phase.

He was also reported as stating if Trump relocates the US embassy to Jerusalem, this would signal US recognition of Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem.

While al-Hayat al-Jadida covered this letter in its main news item, al-Quds and al-Ayyam opted to highlight Israeli punitive measures against the al-Qunbar family after Fadi Qunbar had carried out a deadly truck attack against Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem killing four and wounding others.

Al-Quds said Israeli forces dismantled the mourning tent that had been set up in memory of Qunbar and closed off the main entrance to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabber.

Al-Ayyam said Israeli forces imposed punitive measures on Palestinians in Jabal al-Mukabber.

It reported Qunbar’s relatives as affirming neither he was affiliated to or made contacts with the so-called “Islamic State” group.

It added one Israeli minister advocated the expulsion of al-Qunbar family members to Syria as a punishment to the entire family.

Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida said Muhammad Abu Shahin was sentenced to two life sentences and fined about $900,000 for killing an Israeli and wounding another near Dolev settlement in June 2015.

Highlighting the international Middle East peace conference in Paris, al-Quds reported the countries that would attend the conference on Sunday would affirm the two-state solution and slam Israeli settlement construction across the West Bank.

It also reported they would affirm the illegality of any unilateral changes to the pre-1967 borders, including Jerusalem.

Referring to a Haaretz report, al-Ayyam said the final draft of the conference statement would urge Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to disavow officials in their respective governments who oppose the two-state solution.

Regionally, al-Quds and al-Ayyam said the body of former Greek Melkite Catholic archbishop, Hilarion Capucci, was laid to his rest in Lebanon.

Highlighting settlement construction plans, the dailies said the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem mulls approval of the construction of 390 new housing units for settlers on land belonging to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shufat.

Al-Ayyam said Israeli forces delivered demolition orders for Palestinian residential structures to the south of Hebron and leveled Palestinian lands in Salfit.

Besides, al-Ayyam said Palestinians in the Gaza Strip protested the worsening electricity crisis and power blackouts in the besieged enclave.

It added the Hamas security forces detained many Palestinians from al-Bureij camp in the wake of the protests.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Kraehenbuehl urged Trump to revive the Middle East peace process.

 

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