Newspapers Review: Dailies Feature Christmas Eve Celebrations

RAMALLAH, December 25, 2014 (WAFA) – The three Palestinian Arabic dailies Thursday featured on the main pages the Christmas Eve celebrations in the city of Bethlehem, the Palestinian cradle of Christianity.

The dailies highlighted remarks by President Mahmoud Abbas, who participated in the Midnight Mass, where he said “Jerusalem shall remain an open capital for all religions in any future final status agreement.”

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported on Wednesday’s cross-border shooting along the Gaza-Israel border, during which Israeli soldiers opened fire and killed one Palestinian, whom al-Ayyam and al-Quds identified as a member of the Hamas military wing, al-Qassam Brigade. Al-Hayat and al-Ayyam said an Israeli soldier was injured during the shooting.

The dailies said the Israeli authorities approved a plan to build 380 settlement housing units in al-Magharbeh neighborhood, in the occupied East Jerusalem, in a continuous attempt to turn the city into one exclusive for Jews.

Al-Quds said the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished three Palestinian-owned animal barns in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of at-Tour and Issawiya.

Meanwhile, the three dailies said the Israeli authorities handed over the bodies of Gassan and Udai Abu Jamal, who were behind the synagogue attack in Jerusalem 36 days ago and killed five Israelis before they were shot dead by Israeli police.

Israel recently issued orders to demolish Abu Jamals’ family homes in reprisal, an action that was denounced by Israeli human rights groups as a form of collective and discriminatory punishment carried only against Palestinians.

Al-Quds said the government decided to resubmit an international tender for oil drilling in the West Bank’s oil fields. The tender was submitted for the first time last March, but was put on hold due to the low participation rate as a result of Israel’s 51-day offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida and al-Ayyam said ISIS downed a plane that belongs to the United States-led international coalition against the group and captured its Jordanian pilot.

Al-Ayyam said the Israeli army detained four Palestinian youth near Jenin and accused them of conspiring to launch an anti-Israel attack.

The paper said the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza tightened its security measures along Gaza-Israel border to prevent human infiltration into Israel.