RAMALLAH, October 19, 2013 (WAFA) – Two of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies resumed on Saturday publication following a three day shutdown for Eid al-Adha holiday. The third, al-Hayat al-Jadida, is expected to resume publication no Sunday.
Al-Quds and al-Ayyam filled their front page with news from the past three days with al-Quds highlighting a report published on Thursday by the Israeli Peace Now movement that documented an increase by 70 percent in Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territories during the first half of this year compared to the same period of last year.
Al-Ayyam, which also mentioned this report on its front page, highlighted President Mahmoud Abbas’ tour of Europe and his visit to Germany, the second leg in his tour that will also take him to Belgium.
Abbas started his tour in Italy with a visit to Rome and the Vatican. Al-Quds printed a picture of Abbas sitting on a table with Pope Francis while al-Ayyam printed a picture for Abbas with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The two papers quoted Abbas saying that Israel should stop all settlement activities in order to set the borders between Palestine and Israel.
They also said Abbas invited Pope Francis to visit the Holy Land.
Al-Ayyam quoted presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh saying Israel wants to control the land crossings of the new Palestinian state along with its air space and sea. He said the Palestinians will never agree to that or to the presence of even one Israeli soldier in the Jordan Valley area, as demanded by the Israeli negotiators.
It also highlighted the Israeli army killing of a Palestinian near the town of Ram, north of Jerusalem, Thursday night allegedly for breaking into an army camp with his tractor and attempting to run over soldiers. Younis Radida Obeidi, 30, was shot dead on the scene.
Al-Ayyam and al-Quds highlighted the death by suffocation of five children from the Fataftah family in the Hebron area town of Tarqoumia on Thursday. Five girls between 2 and 6 years old died from lack of oxygen when they were playing inside a car.
The two papers also reported on the Israeli army crackdown on the weekly anti-settlements, anti-wall protests in the West Bank.
Al-Quds reported as well on the news from Russia earlier in the week that tests on the remains of Yasser Arafat did not find traces of polonium, a highly poisonous material believed to have caused his death in 2004. This item of the news was later denied by the Russian center doing the tests