The Daily Telegraph reports on statements by eyewitnesses of the bombing in Bulgaria. The witnesses say two Israeli men, who were subsequently killed, challenged the bomber, at which point the bomb was detonated remotely. This strengthens the authorities understanding that the bomber “was backed up by an organised group that helped him plan and carry out the attack.” In addition, according to the paper, “forensic analysis of the bomber’s head has reportedly shown he may have been mentally disabled”. The Times and the Daily Telegraph both cover attempts by the widows of two Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics to hold a minute’s silence at the opening ceremony. The Independent includes an exclusive interview with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, in which he tells the paper, “we have never been more marginalised”, complaining that the Arab spring, Eurozone crisis and the US elections have pushed the Palestinian cause off the agenda. BBC online and most newspapers continue to cover the Syrian conflict, reporting today on more defections and the continued fighting in the city of Aleppo. The Financial times carries two editorials relating to the region. One discusses Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s upcoming visit to Europe and Israel, while the second discusses whether America should intervene in Syria. The Guardian includes a comment by Professor Fawaz Gerges, claiming the international community should not focus on Bashar Assad personally, as there will be little change for Syrians without dismantling his authoritarian government machine. The Independent follows the concerns of European rabbis over the legal pressure against circumcision in hospitals in Austria and Switzerland.
For a second day, the economic austerity measures lead the news in all the major Israeli papers. Maariv reports that the cost of the new taxes and the new economic decisions will raise the burden on the average family by 1740 Shekels (£275) a year. The paper goes on to detail the expected price rise on fuel as well as beer and cigarettes. Haaretz says the overall tax burden will increase by 9 billion NIS over one and a half years. Yediot Ahronot covers a report from the World Bank that says the Palestinian Authority is not ready to become a state because its economy is not strong enough and too reliant on aid. Israel Radio reports another Kassam rocket was fired last night in the direction of Ashkelon, but exploded in an open area without causing damage. Yediot Ahronot highlights a new study on the high success rate for men who served in the IDF ultra-Orthodox combat unit, Nahal Heredi. Israel Hayom, along with other papers covers the Iranian “taunts”, that they will enrich uranium to 60%. Maariv prominently reports on a Facebook message by Hagai Amir, recently released from prison for assisting his brother in the murder Prime Minister Rabin, in which he says they planned to kill Rabin two years prior to the assassination. The Jerusalem Post covers Foreign Minister Lieberman’s meeting with Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Foreign Minister continued to push the case for the EU to proscribe Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. He also highlighted the decision of the ruling party in Tunisia that added a clause into the country’s constitution considering any normalisation with Israel as a criminal offence. Israel Hayom reports on the population growth within Israeli settlements in the West Bank, particularly over the last year.