Syria continues to dominate Middle East coverage, with the Independent and BBC reporting that Syrian bombed Aleppo. The Independent also includes comment that assesses the threat of Syria’s chemical weapons. The Guardian notes that Palestinians lost their appeal to halt the demolition of villages in the southern Hebron hills because they are not permanent residents of the villages. The Guardian publishes two letters critical of the enhanced EU-Israel relations reported earlier this week. BBC reports that a new Egyptian prime minister, Hisham Qandil, has been appointed. He is considered a technocrat and not politically affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, serving in the past as Water Minister. The Financial Times, Daily Telegraph and the Guardian cover Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s foray into foreign affairs and his upcoming trip overseas which includes a visit to Israel. The Times and the Independent report that widows of two Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics arrived in London to deliver a petition condemning the President of the International Olympic Committee for refusing to hold a minutes silence at this year’s opening ceremony.
The Israeli media focuses this morning on economic austerity measures that are to be introduced soon. Haaretz and Israel Hayom give prominent coverage to IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz’s comments to the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee yesterday. He presenting Israel’s dilemma in dealing with Syrian chemical weapons. Israel can stage a pinpointed strike on a convoy carrying chemical weapons to Hezbollah, or take preemptive action to destroy the Syrian stockpiles before they fall into the hands of hostile elements. There is continued attention on the fighting in Syria in all the papers. Maariv reports on the 70% rise this week is Israelis collecting gas masks. Israel Radio reports that two rockets were fired towards Ashkelon from Gaza last night. One was intercepted by Iron Dome, one landed in south of the city. Yediot Ahronot has a report that speculates if Iran has been hit by another cyber attack. Yediot Ahronot follows the IDF announcement of a new advanced early warning system for the Lebanese border. The Jerusalem Post reports on new details regarding the activities of the terrorists in last week’s attack in Bulgaria.