Israeli’s offensive in Gaza occupies the main headlines of Arab media on Sunday, with photos of severely injured Palestinian children featuring prominently.
“Gaza: the ceasefire races the battle,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Hayat. The daily accuses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of reneging on a promise to maintain calm and waging a war to win points in his election campaign. The reelection of Barack Obama as US president has harmed Netanyahu’s standing inside Israel, claims reporter Amal Shahada.
“As soon as the number of missiles falling on southern towns rose, [Netanyahu] found the stick he need to save him from the crisis he put himself in with Washington. Many Israelis expected [that crisis] to affect his popularity.”
Meanwhile, Saudi-owned daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat focuses on Israel’s strike on the Hamas government building in Gaza, razing it to the ground.
“Israel destroys the headquarters of the Gaza government; Washington: Hamas is the cause.” reads the daily’s headline, featuring a photo of debris where the building used to stand.
The daily’s editor-in-chief Tareq Homayed claims that the Israeli attack on Gaza came at a particularly sensitive time for Hamas, which is searching for new political leadership while fighting more extremist Islamist factions in the Gaza Strip.
“The Israeli aggression represents a conundrum not only for President Morsi or the Qatari investments in Gaza, but also for Hamas, and its relationship with the other factions, and its future roll,” writes Homayed.
Meanwhile, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, a London-based daily, focuses on Palestinian affairs with a pan-Arab twist, champions Egypt’s quick involvement in the Gaza crisis.
‘This is the Egypt we’ve been waiting for,’ reads the headline of an op-ed by the daily’s editor-in-chief Abdel Bari Atwan
“Revolutionary Egypt supports Gaza under fire while Israel escalates its aggression and prepares for a ground assault,” reads the daily, in an article headlined “The rockets of the resistance shatter Jerusalem’s immunity after Tel Aviv.”
The front page displays a photo of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil leaning over the body of a small child in Gaza.
“This is the Egypt we’ve been waiting for,” reads the headline of an op-ed by the daily’s editor-in-chief Abdel Bari Atwan, who compares the success of sending Tel Aviv residents running to bomb shelters to Hezbollah’s achievement in launching a drone over Israeli skies.
“The Palestinian resistance achieved success and a breakthrough while Arab governments stood by. They failed in manufacturing a plane manned or unmanned, and did not supply the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and the West Bank with so much as a hunting rifle, not to mention missiles that reach a settlement near the northern Gaza border.”
‘The Palestinian resistance achieved success and a breakthrough while Arab governments stood by’
“What the Arab regimes gave the resistance is a shameful peace initiative, justifiably received with scorn by Israel and all the Western countries supporting it,” writes Atwan.
Al-Jazeera, a Qatar-based news channel, reports that Egyptian President Morsi has contacted the government of Israel and the Palestinians, claiming that there are good chances that a ceasefire will be reached soon.
Competing channel Al-Arabiya, based in Dubai, reports that its Gaza office was hit by Israeli missiles. The office lies in a 12-story building in central Gaza which houses lawyers’ offices and media outlets.
The correspondent walks through the office, pointing to broken windows and shattered glass.
Syrian opposition appoints an ambassador to France
The appointment of Mundhir Makhous, an Alawite, as the Syrian opposition’s ambassador to France features prominently on the front pages of Arab media Sunday.
The announcement was made following a meeting between French President Francois Hollande and the new head of Syria’s opposition coalition Mouaz Al-Khatib.
According to A-Sharq Al-Awsat, the appointment of an ambassador to France indicates “the extent of France’s involvement in supporting the Syrian opposition.” The daily also reports that the number of Syrian victims over the past three days has reached 400.
A terrible train accident shakes Egypt
Egypt, initially deeply involved in solving the Gaza crisis, has switched its attention inward Sunday following a train wreck which cost the lives of some 50 school children in the city of Asyout.
“Egypt has experienced a catastrophic day yesterday,” reads an article in independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, reporting the death of 50 children between the ages of 5 and 14 after being crushed by a train in the bus they were riding to school.
Al-Ahram reports the tragic death of three siblings in an incident it describes as a heart-wrenching ”human catastrophe” which cost the jobs of Egypt’s transportation minister and chief of the railroad authority.