The terror attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria yesterday is widely covered in the UK press. The Sun, the Daily Express, the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror all note comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who immediately held Iran responsible for the attack which left eight people dead. The BBC reports assessments that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. According to the Guardian, Syria’s civil war is moving into “uncharted territory” with the assassination of three of the regime’s top security figures, including Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law and deputy defence minister, Assef Shawkat. The Independent describes the bomb attack in Damascus which struck at the heart of the Assad regime as “ruthless”. Shawkat’s obituary appears in the Daily Telegraph. The Times notes the quick announcement of a new defence minister to replace Hassan Turkmani, and assesses that the president will bring his brother, Maher, into his inner circle. The younger Assad currently commands the army’s Fourth Division, and is renowned for his brutality. The Daily Mirror quotes former Israeli National Security Council chief Ilan Mizrahi, who last week warned that the Syrian regime remains robust. The Independent concurs, with Robert Fisk concluding that Assad is “going, but not yet gone.” The Independent notes the arrest of suspected Nazi war criminal 97-year old Laszlo Csatary in Budapest. The Daily Telegraph describes him as “unapologetically anti-Semitic”, insisting that his role in deporting 16,000 Jews to their deaths at Auschwitz was merely “following orders”.
The Israeli media leads with the attack in Burgas, Bulgaria. All papers have extensive coverage, including eye-witness accounts from survivors. Yediot Ahronot’s Alex Fishman writes that Israeli security officials should have done more to raise public awareness after a similar attack was prevented in Cyprus last week. Ofer Shelah, writing in Maariv assesses that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and its al-Quds Force, is behind the attack. The Iranians are determined to respond to the attacks on their nuclear programme, and believe that the US elections grant them “a kind of immunity” for the next few months, he writes. The Jerusalem Post reports comments by an American official that the EU and the US are considering additional sanctions against Iran in discussions this week. “We are prepared to do more. We believe that a number of our allies are prepared to do more,” said the official. Haaretz notes a statement from Hezbollah which denies any involvement in the attack in Bulgaria. According to Israel Radio news, Bulgarian president Rosen Plevneliev has denied claims that Israel warned that such an attack was imminent. Following the assassinations in Damascus yesterday, Yisrael Hayom writes that Israel’s security heads will now need to assess whether the weakness of the Assad regime will result in the transfer of advanced weapons systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Israel’s response. Ynet notes a report that Israeli and US military planners are understood to be discussing the possibility of an Israeli attack to destroy such weapons systems before they are transferred out of Syria. The Americans are understood to oppose such action. The Jerusalem Post reports separate meetings yesterday between Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi and PA president Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. There is also coverage of the funeral of Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv, the leading ultra-orthodox Rabbi of his generation, who died yesterday aged 102. 250,000 mourners joined his funeral procession.