Newspaper Review: Israel’s Plan to Bolster West Bank Settlement Construction Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, July 4, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli cabinet’s decision to bolster settlement construction across the West Bank hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

Al-Quds said Israel decided to construct 1,360 new settler units in East Jerusalem.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said Israeli settlers set up a new observation point or settlement outpost, Michael, south of Hebron. Al-Quds explained this observation point would constitute the nucleus of a new settlement.

Al-Ayyam said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ‘Defense’ Minister Avigdor Lieberman approved plans for the construction of 800 new settler units in Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim settlement bloc.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida said the number of approved settler units totaled 700. Both newspapers said some members of Knesset called for extending Israeli sovereignty over the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement bloc.

Al-Quds also covered Israeli cabinet’s reprisals against Palestinians in the aftermath of the deadly attack of a settler in Hebron.

It reported Israeli cabinet imposed economic reprisals or sanctions on Palestinians, referring to the partial deduction from the monthly tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

It added the cabinet decided to demolish the family houses of all Palestinians killed purportedly for committing alleged or actual attacks against Israeli settlers and soldiers as well as “illegal” Palestinian structures in parts of West Bank C Area.

Highlighting the situation in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, al-Quds said Israel has tightened the blockade on Hebron, while al-Ayyam said the lockdown on the Hebron town of Bani Na’im has worsened Palestinians’ suffering.

As part of these reprisals, al-Ayyam said Israeli occupation authorities, namely the so-called COGAT, stripped Palestinian mayor of Hebron, Kamel Humeid, of his VIP card. It reported Humeid as stating that he does not enjoy any special privileges that could be revoked.

Moreover, al-Quds and al-Ayyam said Israeli forces demolished two Palestinian houses in Qalandiya refugee camp amidst violent clashes that left several Palestinians injured.

Furthermore, the three dailies reported former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was served with a summons to be interrogated by UK police over involvement in war crimes against Palestinians during the 2008 Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

Al-Ayyam explained the summons was withdrawn following Israeli pressures, while al-Hayat al-Jadida explained that following Israeli-UK diplomatic contacts, Livni was granted immunity.

Al-Ayyam reported a Turkish aid ship carrying supplies for the Gaza Strip arrived at the Israeli seaport of Ashdod. Al-Quds added that the family of missing Israeli soldier blocked the delivery of aid to Gaza from the Turkish ship.

Finally, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida highlighted official Palestinian response to the latest Middle East Peace Quartet’s report.

The PLO Executive Committee slammed the report as a “flagrant violation of international law and ]resolutions[of international legitimacy.”

 

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