RAMALLAH, September 14, 2013 (WAFA) – The Israeli police closure of al-Aqsa Mosque to Palestinians to restrict their number in the Muslim holy place was the main front page story in the three Palestinian Arabic dailies on Saturday.
The papers said Israeli police set up checkpoints on all roads leading to the Old City and turned back all Palestinians under 45 years of age. As a result only a handful of worshippers were able to reach al-Aqsa Mosque for the Friday prayer when the number normally is in the thousands.
The papers printed pictures of Palestinians praying in the roads leading to the Old City after the police had prevented them from reaching it.
Al-Quds said in a report that Israel has shut down in total for Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, which started Friday night and ends Saturday evening.
It said in another story that eight Palestinian prisoners were hurt in a fire that broke out in one of the cells in the Israeli Nafha prison in the Naqab desert.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida said the sick prisoners are planning to start protest moves on Sunday demanding better conditions and medical service.
Also on the local front, the paper reported on the ongoing conflict between the students and administration at Birzeit University, whose campus was shut down in total by the students last week preventing the start of the new academic year.
Other local topics highlighted in the dailies had to do with the Israeli army crackdown on the weekly anti-settlements, anti-wall protests in various areas of the West Bank.
The papers said dozens of people were treated for rubber bullet injuries and tear gas inhalation fired by Israeli soldiers at the protesters.
The papers continued to focus on the situation in Syria and efforts to reach a final agreement on its chemical weapons.
Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem on Sunday for a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two are going to discuss the peace process in addition to the situation in Syria.