Middle East reports in the UK media today are dominated by the ongoing violence in Syria and international attempts to present a viable plan to stop the killing. BBC online reports that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep frustration with the violence in Syria, as UN monitors attempt to verify reports of a massacre at Qubair village. Con Coughlin writes in the Daily Telegraph that Western intervention in Syria will improve stability in the region, weaken Iran and cut supply lines to Hezbollah. In the Independent, meanwhile, Mary Dejevsky expresses opposition to Western intervention in Syria. Philip Stephens analyses in the Financial Times the nuclear talks between Iran and the international community and asserts that “A nuclear deal is possible only as part of a grand bargain between Iran and the US.” The Daily Telegraph also reports criticism over Israel’s announcement of new construction in West Bank settlements. The independent and the Guardian report that the Government will be challenged in Parliament next week over the services provided in Israeli settlements by the company chosen to run security for London 2012. The Guardian also carries a piece by Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who calls for Palestinian unity. The paper also runs a first in a series of articles on life of Palestinians in Gaza. BBC online also notes that political parties in Egypt have agreed to the make-up of the panel that will write the country’s new constitution, ending weeks of deadlock.
The Israeli press is dominated by the violence in Syria and the international search for a viable intervention plan. Maariv reports that National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror met on Wednesday with newly-elected French President Francois Hollande, and passed along a message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the Iranian issue, ahead of the third round of talks that is to take place in Moscow on 18 July, between Iran and the six world powers. Yediot Ahronoth reports on talks being held between the Prime Minister’s Bureau and residents of the Ulpana Hill neighbourhood scheduled to be evicted by next month. The talks are intended to seek a quiet eviction, and Haaretz reports that the residents may agree to leave peacefully if the structures themselves are not demolished. Israel Hayom, however, reports that residents of the neighbourhood strongly object to the plan. The papers also follow the controversy surrounding relations between Defence Minister Ehud Barak and former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi. Evidence collected by the State Comptroller’s Office reveals deep animosity between the two and disagreement over the appointment of Ashkenazi’s replacement. All papers report that Israel’s District Court rejected a petition against the deportation of migrants from South Sudan. Haaretz and Ynetnews note that authorities have begun constructing a large detention facility to house migrants who cross into Israel. Haaretz reports that Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride Parade will be held today for the 14th year. All papers report on an unidentified flying object seen last night. Some speculate the object was a Russian test of a ballistic missile.