The main item of Israel related news in the UK media this morning is Israel’s decision to cut ties with the UN Human Rights Council over its planned investigation into settlements. The Independent and the Times report on this, as does the BBC and the Telegraph online. The Independent and the Times also report that images of last week’s killings in a Jewish school in Toulouse were sent to a TV station and are now in the hands of the police. In addition, the Independent reports on comments from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in which he said that the US can longer dictate to the rest of the world and called for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. Meanwhile the Financial Times has a supplement examining the negative impact of regional political turmoil on the Arab banking sector, whilst the Guardian online has interactive features relating to Amnesty International’s new report on the use of the death penalty. The report shows extensive use in some Middle East countries, particularly Iran. The Guardian online also has a comment piece on the ‘sea of troubles’ faced by Arab minister at this week’s Arab League summit in Baghdad, and its Iran blog reports on an Israeli social network initiative sending the message ‘I love you’ to Iranians online. Developments in Syria are widely reported online, with the BBC reporting on Kofi Annan’s efforts to get Russian and Chinese support for a peace plan, and various outlets reporting on Turkey’s decision to close its embassy in Damascus.
In the Israeli media today all papers cover the Kadima leadership elections, being held today. Yediot Ahronot note there is very little difference between the two candidates ideologically. Israel Hayom speculates that after the vote, the split into two smaller parties is inevitable. The tragic death of five family members in a house fire, and the negotiations to avert a railway workers strike are also widely covered in the front pages of all daily papers.Ma’ariv reports on Foreign Minister Lieberman’s decision to brake off contact with the UN Human Rights Council following the council’s decision last week to form an investigative committee to examine the impact of settlements on Palestinian rights. Haaretz reveals Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin will visit Israel at some point in June. Jerusalem Post follows a petition signed by thousands of people urging President Shimon Peres to use the granting of the (US) Medal of Freedom as an opportunity to push for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Pollard continues to serve a life sentence for passing secret information to Israel over 26 years ago. Haaretz and theJerusalem Post note statement from Marwan Bargouti, a Palestinian leader serving life in prison for involvement in terror, calling for a third intifada. Haaretz notes an Israeli soldier was stabbed during active duty in the West Bank last night. Ynet reports on the IDF uncovering a large roadside bomb along the border with Gaza.