Newspapers Review: Dailies Focus on President’s Remarks on Accession to ICC

RAMALLAH, February 5, 2015 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas’ remarks on the Palestinian Authority’s accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the ongoing freeze of tax revenues by Israel was the focus of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.

Al-Ayyam quoted Abbas stating: “We will not take back or bargain our accession to the ICC. We have further steps to be proposed during the upcoming PLO Executive Council’s meeting.”

It also quoted him as stating: “The status quo could not be maintained.”

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported on the opening of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation’s (PBC) new building in Ramallah. It quoted Abbas who attended the opening as saying that: “We need an objective media to convey our message to the world.”

Commenting on the recent gruesome murder of captured Jordanian fighter pilot Lt. Mu‘az al-Kassasbeh by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group (ISIS), Abbas affirmed: “ISIS’s savagery will not persist as the public’s willpower is stronger than all criminals.”

Al-Quds reported in this regard that Abbas phoned Jordan’s King Abdullah II and expressed his condolences and solidarity, while al-Hayat al-Jadida also reported that Abbas has instructed the Palestinian General Intelligence service to spare no efforts to confront terrorism and extremism.

Al-Quds printed a photo of Abbas as he paid respects at the Jordanian Embassy in Ramallah, while al-Hayat al-Jadida printed a photo featuring him together with Premier Rami Hamdallah inaugurating the new PBC headquarter in Ramallah.

While al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida highlighted Abbas’ remarks in their main front page news item, al-Quds opted to highlight Jordan’s execution of two would-be suicide bombers in retaliation for al-Kassasbeh’s burning to death.

It reported that Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karboli were both hanged early Wednesday, and quoted Abduallah II saying, al-Kasasbeh’s blood would not be shed in vain and the Jordanian army’s response would come harsh.

Al-Quds also reported in this regard that the burning alive of al-Kassasbeh was widely condemned by Arab countries as well as Palestinian official and grass-root institutions.

Both al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida printed a photo featuring Palestinians taking part in a sit-in in solidarity with the Jordanian people in front of the Jordanian Representative Office in Ramallah.

Highlighting the Israeli occupation practices in the West Bank, al-Quds reported on Belgium as condemning the construction of new settlement units in the WB.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that Israeli occupation forces handed Palestinians notices to demolish wells, detained 15 Palestinians, raided Jenin district, opened gun fire on Palestinian farmers to the east of Khan Younes and forced students to leave their school at gun point in the Nablus village of Al-Sawiya.

It also reported that the Jerusalem Governor’s Office has successfully prevented the illegal transfer of Palestinian lands in Beit Hanina and Shu‘fat to Israeli settlers.

Both al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that defiant Palestinian popular resistance activists rebuilt a protest tent camp, known as Bawwabat al-Quds (the Gate to Jerusalem), to the east of Abu Dis.

Al-Quds also said that a senior Israeli military officer (Yoav Mordechai) visit to the European Union was cancelled.

Highlighting the situation in the Gaza Strip, the three dailies reported that [Muhammad al-Mughayyir[, a freelance consultant with the Ramallah-based Representative Office of the Netherlands, was kidnapped and assaulted by unidentified assailants in Gaza city.

Al-Ayyam quoted senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahhar as saying: “Hamas will grant the [Palestinian national consensus [government another chance, otherwise, it will consider other options.”

It reported on UNRWA warning that the conflict in the Gaza Strip might break out soon if the current miserable conditions persist.