RAMALLAH, September 7, 2013 (WAFA) – While the main top story in the three Palestinian Arabic dailies printed on Saturday was the clashes between Palestinian Muslim worshippers and Israeli police at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after the Friday prayer, two of the dailies also highlighted statements by President Mahmoud Abbas that if Israel goes back on former understandings, the Palestinians will also go back on the principle of land swap.
The three dailies reported extensively on the confrontations that broke out following a police raid of the mosque compound to stop Palestinians angry at Israeli attempts to change the status quo of the mosque and turn it into a Jewish prayer place.
They printed pictures of the confrontations with the Dome of the Rock in the background.
However, Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida also highlighted statements Abbas made to a visiting Arab athletic delegation in which he threatened to withdraw his land swap idea and demand all of the territories Israel occupied in June 1967 if the Israeli government goes back on agreements on borders and security reached with former Israeli governments, mainly the one run by Ehud Olmert.
He said that Olmert at the time talked about land swap amounting to 6% of the area of the West Bank while the Palestinians proposed 1.9%.
“We told the present Israeli negotiators that if you want to go back on what was agreed with Olmert, we will go back on our agreement for a land swap and so we will ask for all of the 1967 land as is,” al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted Abbas saying.
Al-Quds said in the same report that Abbas told his guests that the current negotiations are discussing borders and that the Palestinians have presented their views on this subject, which were based on the understandings reached with Olmert.
But, he added, the Israelis wanted to scrape the understandings reached on borders and security.
Abbas said that a negotiations round was held on Wednesday and a security negotiations meeting headed by the US military envoy General John Allen will be held on Monday, without specifying where and when it will be held or who will attend it.
The dailies also printed statements by Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqi in which he said that the second patch of Palestinian prisoners to be released by Israel will be on September 29.
He said the third group will be released on December 29 and the fourth and last of the 104 pre-Oslo prisoners will be released on March 28.
Israel has agreed to release all prisoners held since before the signing of the Oslo agreement in 1993 in four stages as long as negotiations are underway.
Al-Ayyam said in a story from Gaza that Hamas has announced that it uncovered a major plot by Israeli, Palestinian Authority and Arab intelligence to attack Gaza. It reported on the press conference Hamas’ interior ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan gave in Gaza and in which he accused intelligence from Israel, the PA and some Arab countries to plotting together to weaken Hamas six-year-old control over Gaza.
Other topics tackled by the dailies covered the Israeli army crackdown on the weekly protests in West Bank villages against the segregation wall and settlements Israel is building on Palestinian land.
They also highlighted the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, saying that the meeting ended without agreement on the Syrian crisis.