Israel escalates its demolition of Bethlehem Palestinian structures

Israeli army bulldozers demolish Palestinian homes in Jerusalem – more demolitions are taking place near Bethlehem

The latest demolitions of Palestinian structures in Beit Jala city in Bethlehem district and the string of Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip dominated the front page headlines in Tuesday’s issues of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.

They all reported that an Israeli bulldozer demolished a house and a restaurant in Beit Jala city, near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that Israeli warplanes targeted a site in Beit Lahia town in the northern besieged Gaza Strip.

Al-Quds added that Israeli naval boats opened fire towards fishing boats off the shore of the coastal strip.

Al-Quds reported the US State Department as denying media reports that it had deleted ‘Palestinian Territories’ from the list of countries on its website, while the State Department’s website confirms the opposite.

According to al-Quds, scores of Israeli settlers, led by Israeli lawmaker Yehuda Glick, forced their way into the Jerusalem flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam added that Israeli police interrogated the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Ikrima Sabri.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the construction of 300 new settler units in the illegal settlement of Dolev, west of Ramallah.

And all the dailies reported that the Palestinian cabinet discussed the Cabinet Performance Report and approved the completion of infrastructure projects in various districts.

US President Donald Trump was reported in al-Quds and al-Ayyam as hinting that parts of the US-touted Middle East plan, dubbed ‘deal of the century’, might be revealed before the upcoming Israeli elections.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that Finance Minister Shukri Bishara returned over $81,000 in secretly approved bonuses sparking public outrage when they came to light in June.

Al-Ayyam said that Israeli forces continued to carry out detention raids across the West Bank, detaining 26 Palestinians and also highlighted Netanyahu’s decision to cut fuel supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip by half.

It also reported that a Hamas delegation has arrived to Cairo to discuss the accelerating developments in the coastal enclave.

It spotlighted Israeli allegations that Israeli military arrested the Palestinians responsible for carrying last week’s attack that resulted in the killing of a settler and wounding two others at a natural spring near Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah.

It also reported that Israeli warplanes targeted a site belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC) in eastern Lebanon.

And it highlighted international media reports shedding light on the Israeli policy of seizing Palestinian groundwater in the Jordan Valley.

According to al-Hayat al-Jadida, the health of Huthayfa Halabiya, a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, has deteriorated following a 57-day hunger strike.

It said that the European Union made a contribution of 20 million euros to the Palestinian Authority to pay out social allowances to vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

It also reported Chairman of the PLO’s Refugee Affairs Department, Ahmad Abu Holi, stating that maintaining United Nations relief agency UNRWA-provided services, and its funding and renewing its mandate, is the priority in the coming months.