Newspaper Review: Netanyahu, Lieberman’s Talk on Long-Dormant Arab Peace Initiative Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, June 1, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ‘Defense’ Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s talk about reviving the long-dormant Arab Peace Initiative hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

Raising questions over his sincerity, al-Quds said Netanyahu spoke of reviving the Arab Peace Initiative in order to fend off international criticisms.

In contrast to Netanyahu’s remarks, Israeli Minister Zeev Elkin was reported in al-Quds as slamming Netanyahu’s talk.

Al-Quds also reported UN Middle East Envoy Nickolay Mladenov as welcoming Netanyahu’s remarks.

Highlighting official Palestinian reaction to Netanyahu’s talk, the three dailies quoted Presidential Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudieneh as saying Netanyahu should demonstrate or manifest his sincerity not in words and rhetoric, but with ]genuine[ actions.

President Mahmoud Abbas was reported in al-Ayyam as stating that Arab countries would only normalize relations with Israel after the latter withdraws from the occupied Palestinian Territories, including West Bank.

Highlighting the latest developments regarding the French bid to convene an international peace conference, al-Quds reported that the French plan seeks rigid deadlines for ]each stage[ of Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Moreover, imminent Israeli settlement construction and massive land takeover plans hit the front page headlines in the dailies.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported the Israeli “Local Planning Committee” was expected to approve the construction of a new settler building in the heart of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.

Besides, al-Quds and al-Ayyam covered Israeli members of Knesset efforts for passing a law calling for the “annexation” of Maaale Adumim settlement bloc.

It is worth noting that these calls came as a new poll conducted by the Migdam Israeli polling firm showed that a wide majority of Israelis, including both on the left and right, favor Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank settlement bloc of Maale Adumim.

They also highlighted Israeli large-scale settlement plans in the West Bank after the Israeli “Civil Administration” re-mapped an area of 62 thousands dunums in the West Bank.

Regarding Palestinian house demolitions, al-Quds reported the European Union (EU) warned about adverse effects on EU-Israel relations should Israel proceed with demolition of Palestinian houses in West Bank Area C.

Highlighting efforts to confront Israeli plans to take over Palestinian houses in Jerusalem, al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that representatives of Palestinian families and institutions in Jerusalem announced the “Jerusalem Charter” designating any Palestinians selling their properties to Israeli settlers as traitors.

Finally, the dailies highlighted the execution of three Palestinians convicted for murder by Hamas in Gaza.