Renewed reconciliation, long-term ceasefire efforts focus of dailies

RAMALLAH, Renewed efforts to end the 11-year-old Hamas-Fatah division and to reach a long-term deal to end the violence in the besieged Gaza Strip dominated the front page headlines in Palestinian dailies on Friday.

Al-Quds reported that a senior Hamas delegation from abroad has arrived to Gaza to discuss efforts to achieve reconciliation and end the Israeli siege on Gaza.

It added it was the first time for Deputy Head of Hamas Political Bureau Saleh al-Arouri, who was heading the delegation, and Hussam Badran to visit Gaza.

It also reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called off a trip to Colombia planned for the next week and the Israeli cabinet is set to convene on Sunday ]in light of a possible emerging deal[.

Al-Ayyam reported in this regard that significant meetings to be held during the next hours would determine the fate of the Gaza Strip for years to come.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida also reported that Israeli occupation authorities have suspended the pumping of badly-needed fuel to Gaza through Karm Abu Salem crossing until further notice.

Highlighting the Palestinian government’s reaction to these developments, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was reported in al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida stating that the government would only resume responsibility for Gaza if empowered in six areas.

These areas are reportedly the police, civil defense, taxation, the land sector, the judiciary and the crossings.

He was also reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida stating: The government welcomes efforts aimed at achieving reconciliation and noting that 17 billion dollars have been spent on Gaza since 2007.

He was also reported in al-Quds stating: We will not trade our political stands and firmly-held national principles for cash.

He was also reported in al-Quds and al-Ayyam pledging that the government would serve as an executive branch for any reconciliation agreement and reiterated its willingness to resume responsibility for Gaza.

Additionally, the dailies reported that Israeli Jewish settlers punctured the tires of 10 Palestinian vehicles and spray-painted racist slogans on them in Ein Yabrud village, east of Ramallah city.

They also reported that hundreds of Israeli Jewish settlers forced their way into Joseph’s Tomb in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, sparking clashes with Palestinians.

Al-Ayyam added in this regards that Israeli forces, escorting the settlers, opened fire at the protestors, injuring two Palestinians and causing dozens others to suffocate from tear gas.

According to al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida, Israeli forces detained nine Palestinians and seized the vehicle of a former prisoner during multiple raids across the West Bank.

Moreover, the dailies highlighted news reports that presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh was sworn in as deputy prime minister and minister of information.

Moreover, al-Quds and al-Ayyam spotlighted French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s meeting with King of Jordan Abdullah II in Amman.

Le Drian was reported in al-Quds stating that his country awaits for US President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan and was consulting with Jordan in this regard.

Abdullah II was reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida stressing the need to intensify efforts aimed at re-launching Palestinian-Israeli negotiations based on the two-state solution.

According to al-Quds, the European Union (EU) voiced its concern over the inauguration of a new settlement center in the heart of Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

It covered a report by the Legal Center for Freedom of Movement (Gisha), an Israeli human rights organization, monitoring the effects of the 11-year-old Israeli siege on Gaza.

Addressing Netanyahu’s plan to pass a new legislation strengthening the status of the Druze population following Druze criticism of the recently-passed Jewish Nation-State Law, al-Quds published an analysis titled Netanyahu’s plan offer Druze ed privileges without equality.

Yet, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported the captain of the Norwegian boat carrying pro-Palestinian activists en route to Gaza accusing Israel of violating international law ]by intercepting the boat in international waters and using violent force against its crew who were arrested[.

Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee Saleh Rafat was reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida stating that the Palestinian Central Council, scheduled to convene in mid August, would reconsider overall relations with Israel.

Source: Palestine News & Info Agency