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Dailies highlight coronavirus, Israeli settlement activities, and president’s remarks

Each of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies published today highlighted a different topic on its front page.

Jerusalem24 – Al-Ayyam daily highlighted the latest with the corona pandemic in Palestine and said 31 people died of the disease while 2338 new cases were recorded yesterday in the West Bank and Gaza Strip while East Jerusalem recorded 191 cases over three days, a significant drop in figures in the holy city.

Al-Quds daily said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid the corner stone for a new settlement in an outpost on Deir Istya village land in the Salfit district in the north of the West Bank and vowed to intensify settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The third daily, al-Hayat al-Jadida, highlighted remarks by President Mahmoud Abbas on the occasion of World Water Day in which he said that Israel’s control over the Palestinian water resources is the biggest challenge facing development and economic growth in Palestine.

The paper also highlighted remarks by Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for President Abbas, in which he said that peace starts with the Palestinians first and foremost. He was reacting to statements by Netanyahu in which he said peace could be done with the Arabs and not with the Palestinians.

It also said President Abbas sent his condolences to the family of Mahmoud Hijazi, who died at age 85. Hijazi was the first Palestinian fighter to be caught and imprisoned by Israel following the launch of the armed struggle against the Israeli occupation in 1965.

The three dailies also reported on yesterday’s Palestinian cabinet meeting focusing on remarks by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in which he said that the projected deficit for this year could reach $1.2 billion.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida said the cabinet is going to pass the 2021 budget in its meeting next week.

It also quoted Foreign Minister Riyad Malki saying that contacts with the International Criminal Court is continuing despite Israeli obstacles.

Al-Ayyam said Israel is plotting once again to empty Khan al-Ahmar community, east of Jerusalem, of its Palestinian residents in order to build a new settlement on the location.

It also said Israelis go to the polls today to elect a new parliament but that the elections may not be decisive.

Al-Quds quoted Fatah official, Hussein al-Sheikh, saying that canceling the Palestinian legislative elections is not possible and that forming a government without Hamas is also impossible.

It said Hamas is holding intensive consultations to decide on its candidates for the elections.

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