RAMALLAH, May 2, 2012 (WAFA) – The three Palestinian Arabic dailies Wednesday highlighted on their front page the decision by the West Jerusalem municipality to build thousands of housing units and an 1100-room hotel in an area of occupied East Jerusalem bordering Bethlehem.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida stressed statement by PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat saying the Israeli response to President Mahmoud Abbas’ letter, which was delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 17, has “arrived early” under the new Israeli settlement decision.
Al-Ayyam highlighted in red urgent calls to save the lives of striking Palestinian prisoners, especially Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, who have been on hunger strike for 65 days.
Both al-Hayat al-Jadida and al-Ayyam printed pictures of a protester raising a Palestinian flag on an Israeli army vehicle that was used to spray foul water at protesters outside Ofer military camp and prison near Ramallah. The pictures show Israeli soldiers spraying the protesters with pepper as they attempt to arrest the woman who tried to hang the flag on the water cannon.
Al-Quds printed a picture of Palestinian workers trying to cross Bethlehem checkpoint on the way to their jobs as the world and the Palestinians were marking International Labor Day. The daily featured various activities marking Labor Day and held in solidarity with the striking prisoners in Israeli jails.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida featured an interview with Abbas in Tunisia, during which he stressed that the Palestinians will not allow Israel to restore the situation to before 1993 when the Palestinians and Israel signed the Oslo accords. Abbas called on Arabs and Muslims to visit Jerusalem.
Statements by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad that the Palestinian Authority will overcome its acute financial crisis within two months were highlighted on the front page of al-Ayyam. It reported on Fayyad’s suggestion to Palestinian banks to arrange a $300 million loan to the PA.
The editorial in Al-Quds wondered if the Arabs will succeed in bringing the issue of Palestinian prisoners to international organizations such as the United Nations Security Council, and called for taking the issue to the International Court of Justice.
The daily held Israel responsible for any harm to the striking prisoners, adding that releasing the prisoners will indicate Israel’s seriousness toward the peace process.