Newspaper Review: Yaalon’s Resignation, Weekly Friday Protests Focus of Dailies

RAMALLAH, May 21, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli ‘Defense’ Minister Moshe Yaalon’s resignation coupled with weekly Friday protests hit the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies.

The three dailies reported that Yaalon announced his resignation from his post as Israeli ‘Defense’ Minister.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to offer the position to leader of far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party Avigdor Lieberman.

Yaalon was quoted in al-Hayat al-Jadida as announcing: “I am resigning from the government and Knesset (parliament) and taking a break from political life.”

He was also quoted in al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida as warning: “… extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel, also over the Likud party, and are shaking the house ]and threatening to hurt its inhabitants[”.

The three newspapers also reported that Yaalon would be replaced in the Knesset by Yehuda Glick, an extremist rabbi known for leading groups of extremist Israeli settlers into to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

The three dailies reported Israeli forces quelled the weekly protests across the West Bank with dozens of injuries reported.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported that Palestinian villagers of Talfit, located in the northern West Bank district of Nablus, apprehended two armed Israeli settlers who assaulted local Palestinian farmers.

The three dailies highlighted ongoing French efforts to convene international peace conference on Middle East.

They reported that French Foreign Minister Manuel Valls is set to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories to defend the French peace bid.

Al-Quds reported US State Department Spokesperson John Kirby as confirming that US Secretary of State John Kerry would attend the Paris ‘peace talks’.

Al-Ayyam reported Hamas official Ahmad Bahr as slamming the French international conference bid. He was reported as saying the bid is aimed to “put an end the Question of Palestine.”

Regionally, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported Japan pledged $6 billion aid to the Middle East.

The three dailies highlighted news reports that wreckage of EgyptAir plane was found in the Mediterranean.