RAMALLAH, Tuesday, November 24, 2020 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas’ remarks during a virtual meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel dominated the front page headlines in Tuesday’s issue of the Palestinian mainstream Arabic dailies.
President Abbas was reported in al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida stating: “We are determined to ensure the unity of our territory and people, to go to elections and bring about reconciliation.”
He was also reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida expressing willingness to reinforce relations with Arab countries.
German Chancellor Merkel was reported in al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida reiterating her country’s readiness to advance peacemaking efforts through the Munich Formula Group.
Palestine’s decision to reinstate the nighttime and weekend lockdown to rein the spread of the coronavirus pandemic also hit the front page headlines.
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh was reported in the dailies announcing that the occupied territories will be under a full lockdown in weekends and partial nighttime lockdown from 7:00 PM until 6:00 AM on weekdays for 14 days.
Shtayyeh made the decision to reinstate the lockdown, the newspapers explained, as 1,558 new Covid-19 cases and nine fatalities were recorded in the occupied territories (the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip).
Al-Quds added in this regard that 517 Covid-19 patients recovered from the pandemic.
Among the latest cases, al-Quds and al-Ayyam added, 135 Covid-19 cases and three fatalities were recorded in East Jerusalem.
Al-Ayyam reported the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA-OPT) warning against the spike in the Covid-cases in the territory.
The Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry was reported al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida announcing that two Palestinians tested positive for the pandemic and another died of it in the diaspora.
Premier Shtayyeh was also reported pledging that the government would disburse all arrears at once once it receives all withheld clearance funds from Israel.
According to al-Quds, Israeli forces rounded up 23 Palestinians in multiple West Bank raids.
It also reported that Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian family in Burin village, south of Nablus.
The dailies added that settlers intercepted and attacked Palestinian vehicles travelling between Nablus and Qalqilia cities.
Al-Ayyam said that a number of Palestinians sustained injuries from Israeli military gunfire in raids in al-Jalazone refugee camp and Kafr Ni‘ma village, north and west of Ramallah.
Highlighting Israeli colonial settlement plans in Jerusalem, al-Quds said that two Israeli human rights organizations submitted an objection against major colonial settlement construction plans in the city.
Al-Ayyam printed a feature highlighting the destructive impacts of the Israeli technology park, dubbed the Silicon Valley or Wadi Silicon, to be built on the ruins of dozens of Palestinian businesses in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz.
Al-Quds reported Palestinian cartographer Khalil Tafakji saying that the Israeli occupation authorities have commenced the implementation of projects to link Israeli colonial settlements in Ramallah and the Jordan Valley.
It said that Palestine and Jordan are coordinating their efforts to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jordan’s custodianship over the holy site from the ongoing Israeli incursions.
Regionally, al-Quds highlighted media reports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s secret trip to Saudi Arabia in its main front page news item.
It said that Netanyahu ]secretly[ visited Saudi Arabia and discussed with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Iran’s nuclear issue and normalization of ties.
Al-Quds and al-Ayyam added at the same time that Riyadh denied reports of such a meeting.
Al-Quds quoted well-informed sources claiming that Bin Salman refused to normalize ties with Israel before resolving the Palestinian question based on the two-state solution and opposed striking Iran.
It also reported a well-informed source claiming that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be among the top priorities of US President-elect Joe Biden and that his team has not sent any messages, direct or indirect, to the Palestinian Authority.
Al-Ayyam added that Biden made several appointments to the new White House staff, including US citizen Rima Dudin of Palestinian origin.