RAMALLAH, Monday, August 17, 2020 (WAFA) – President ’ remarks on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreement to normalize relations with Israel hit the front page headlines in today’s issue of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.

President Abbas was reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida stating that neither the UAE nor any other country has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people.

He was also reported in al-Ayyam stressing his refusal for the Palestinian question to be used as an excuse for normalization with Israel.

The dailies pointed out that Abbas made his remarks during a phone conversation with his French counterpart .

Macron was reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida stressing the need to reach a political solution based on the two-state solution and international law.

Expanding on the Palestinian official position on the normalization agreement, al-Quds said that the Palestinian leadership would hold a meeting involving various factions very soon to discuss the means to respond to the UAE announcement on the normalization of ties with the Israeli occupation.

The dailies spotlighted Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks reaffirming commitment to Israel’s illegal annexation move, thus refuting the claim in the agreement that Israel is going to cancel its annexation move.

Netanyahu was reported in al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida stating that annexation is “still on the table” and that “extending annexation will be done only with the United States.”

Al-Ayyam said that the wheel of normalization between Israel and UAE is spinning fast amid an exchange of visits and contacts to elaborate the details of the “peace agreement”.

Moreover, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that Israeli occupation authorities approved several major colonial settlement construction projects.

Al-Quds elaborated that Israel plans to construct a transport network to connect the colonial settlements in Ramallah district to Jerusalem as well as to connect the colonial settlement industrial zones one with the other.

It also reported that Israel advanced a plan to construct a settler-only 600-meter-long tunnel under the Qalandia military checkpoint and al-Ram town, north of Jerusalem.

It added that the announcement about advancing the new settlement construction plans refutes claims about the freezing of the annexation move.

Highlighting more responses to the UAE-Israeli normalization agreement, al-Quds said that national forces, besides Arab organizations and parties, have condemned the agreement.

It also reported that Palestinians held more activities in rejection of the agreement.

Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erekat was reported in al-Ayyam stating that the UAE-Israeli agreement would “kill” the two-state solution and undermines “the possibility of peace.”

He was also reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida stating that the Palestinian leadership takes independent national decisions and that the agreement would not create any right or obligation.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported Kuwaiti government sources affirming their country’s firm position against normalization of relations with Israel.

According to the dailies, a delegation of the Egyptian general intelligence arrived in Ramallah, where they held several meetings before heading to Gaza today in an effort to calm down the situation along the Gaza-Israel borders.

The dailies covered the latest statistics on the novel coronavirus outbreak in the occupied territories and abroad.

They reported the Health Minister Mai Alkaila announcing that 381 Palestinians tested positive for the virus and two others have died from the disease in the occupied territories in the last 24 hours.

Alkaila was also reported in al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida announcing that 450 Palestinians recovered from the highly contagious virus in the occupied territories in the last 24 hours.

The Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry was reported in al-Ayyam announcing that 229 Palestinians contracted the virus in the US in the last 24 hours.

Al-Ayyam added that four new fatalities were recorded among Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

According to al-Quds, 195 settlers led by former lawmaker Yehuda Glick forced their way into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The dailies said that Israeli occupation authorities extended the ban on the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem Governor Adnan Ghaith’s entry into the West Bank for six months.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian worker near the section of Israel’s apartheid wall close to Faroun village, south of Tulkarm city.

Al-Quds added that Israeli troops injured a Palestinian at the northern entrance of Bethlehem and another to the east of Jabalia in the northern besieged Gaza Strip.

According to al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida, Israeli bulldozers leveled Palestinian land in Tulkarm district to make room for the construction of a settler-only bypass road.

They added that Israeli forces delivered orders to demolish several structures in Atouf village, south of Tubas.

Moving to Gaza, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that Israeli occupation authorities sealed off the fishing zone for the besieged coastal enclave and targeted several sites in the enclave.

K.F./M.K.

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