Israeli bombardment of Gaza amid soaring tensions focus of dailies

RAMALLAH, The series of Israeli airstrikes on Palestinian positions in Gaza amid soaring tensions and frustration in the coastal enclave over the Israeli-imposed 12-year crippling siege dominated the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies on Wednesday.

Al-Quds reported that Israel pounded Gaza and threatened to resume targeted assassinations, while al-Ayyam said that Israel has made threats of military escalation against Gaza after Israeli jets launched a series of airstrikes.

Al-Quds reported the Islamic Jihad movement announcing that an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement was reached with Israel, but the newspaper added that Israel chose to escalate the situation.

Al-Ayyam added that Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced their responsibility for the salvos of projectiles fired on Israel.

Al-Ayyam reported the two movements warning Israel against continuing to attack Gaza and saying: All options remain open to the resistance – bombings will be met with bombings and blood with blood.

The dailies added that the Palestinian government called for urgent international intervention to stop the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida said that the US rushed to call the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to convene to protect Israel from Gaza.

The dailies printed photos showing plumes of smoke and dust rising from the sites hit in the Israeli airstrikes.

On the other hand, al-Hayat al-Jadida opted to spotlight the meeting of Fatah Central Committee (FCC) chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

It together with al-Ayyam reported FCC stating that the so-called ultimate deal was doomed to failure as the Palestinian leadership remains committed to its national constants.

The FCC was also reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida calling on Hamas to immediately implement reconciliation agreements which explicitly provide for empowering the national consensus government in Gaza.

Al-Quds said in this regard that Fatah Central Committee discussed the Israeli attacks on Gaza and latest developments.

Furthermore, al-Quds and al-Ayyam said Israeli navy intercepted a Palestinian boat attempting to break Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip and towed it to a naval base in Ashdod.

Al-Quds explained that the boat was carrying 17 people, including university students, patients and protestors wounded during the Great March of Return.

Moreover, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida said the Palestinian cabinet approved the National Plan for Supporting Education in Jerusalem.

Secretary-General of the PLO’s Executive Committee Saeb Erekat was reported in the dailies stating that the Palestinian leadership was in the process of submitting a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Furthermore, al-Quds said that the US State Department shed use of the term occupation in its 2017 annual report on international freedoms in reference to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

It reported the Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs warning against Israeli plans to cut off a large area from the historic Bab al-Rahmeh Islamic cemetery, next to East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, for settlement construction.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that Israel has disconnected three main lines supplying electricity to the southern and central Gaza Strip.

Highlighting the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said they re-confirmed the unified EU position to find a two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.

According to al-Hayat al-Jadida, the municipality of Pamplona called on the Spanish government to severe diplomatic ties with Israel.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency