China-Arab States Cooperation Forum focus of dailies

RAMALLAH, The eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) in Beijing dominated the front page headlines in local Palestinian dailies on Wednesday.

The dailies reported that that CASCF has signaled support for President Mahmoud Abbas’ Mideast peace plan and rejected US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida added that CASCF affirmed the illegality of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories.

They added that CASCF called on states not to relocate their diplomatic missions to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The dailies added in this regard that Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $15 million to Palestine.

Al-Ayyam said that Jinping has called for convening an international conference for Mideast peace, while al-Hayat al-Jadida said that he has launched a new peace initiative.

On the other hand, al-Quds opted to highlight the imminent cuts in key UNRWA programs in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank should US funding freeze is not overcome.

It said that thousands of UNRWA employees face the threat of being laid off and noted that Palestinian refugees plan to rally tomorrow in Gaza in protest of the decision to liquidate the refugees cause.

The UNRWA staff was reported in al-Ayyam stating that they have received shocking information about the fate of UNRWA employees and services provided to refugees.

UNRWA spokesman Sami Mushasha announcing the UN agency has managed to reduce its funding shortfall to $217 million.

Additionally, the dailies said that Israeli navy intercepted the Freedom Boat 2 that sailed from Gaza aiming to reach the Cypriot port of Limassol to break the Israeli siege of Gaza, detaining all passengers.

Al-Quds said that Israeli forces detained a number of Palestinians during multiple raids across the West Bank.

The dailies said that Israeli forces delivered orders to demolish three shelters in Yatta and Masafer Yatta in the southern Hebron hills.

According to al-Quds, the Irish Senate is scheduled to vote today on a bill that will criminalize the import and sale of Israeli settlement products in Ireland.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that a delegation from the Hamas political bureau would head to Cairo today to hold talks with senior Egyptian security officials on resolving the issue of empowering the Palestinian government and pushing forward the stalled internal Palestinian reconciliation.

Al-Quds added that Hamas political bureau reiterated rejection of Trump’s Mideast peace deal, dubbed the deal of the century.

It added that Israel started to enforce the new set of punitive measures on the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to al-Ayyam, the UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov called on Israel to reverse its decision to close Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) border crossing.

It added that a total of 50 Palestinian-owned homes are threatened with demolition by Israeli bulldozers in the central Israeli town of Qalansuwa.

Moreover, al-Hayat al-Jadida highlighted the visit of a delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to Syria to discuss the situation of Palestinian refugees.

It reported member of the PLO Executive Committee Azzam al-Ahmad, who headed the delegation, stating that the Palestinian leadership was still cutting off political contacts with the US administration.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency