In the Guardian, Ian Black analyses the surprise resignation of Kofi Annan from his role as the UN-Arab League envoy and the obstacles for international unity on the Syrian conflict. BBC online reports that the UN General Assembly is set to vote on a resolution condemning the Security Council for its failures on Syria, in an attempt to increase pressure for action. The Financial Times and the Independent continue to analyse the visit of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Israel last weekend. The Independent also runs a comment piece on the danger of outside interference prolonging violent conflicts around the world, citing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one prime example. The Independent and BBC online report that Hamas, the Islamist group controlling the Gaza Strip, has denounced a Palestinian official’s visit to the site of a Nazi death camp in Poland, and called the Holocaust an “alleged tragedy”. The BBC also reports that Egypt’s new cabinet was sworn in at a ceremony in Cairo yesterday.
All Israeli papers and online news sources note the resignation of former UN secretary general Kofi Annan from his mediator role in Syria on behalf of the UN and Arab League. In Yediot Ahronot this morning, the paper’s analyst Shimon Shifer writes about what he describes as the US plan to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, which will set back Iran’s nuclear aspirations for five to ten years. Haaretz’s senior military analyst Amos Harel, meanwhile, writes that the prevailing assessment after this week’s meeting between US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Israeli leaders is that a military strike will only delay Iran’s nuclear plans by one to two years. Maariv reports that in the wake of Panetta’s visit, the US “believes that the chances of an Israeli strike on Iran are smaller than what can be understood from the recent belligerent statements made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.” The paper also notes statements by former Israeli Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy, who warned that an Israeli strike could take place in the near future. Haaretz features an article by renowned Israeli author David Grossman who asks why Israelis are not publically opposing a possible war with Iran. The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz report that Britain’s Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould warned in an interview with Channel 10 that support for Israel is eroding, and that the level of understanding and patience for the status quo is falling. Israel Radio, Maariv and Ynet report that the Counter-Terrorism Bureau has intensified its travel advisory regarding Sinai, and has called on all Israelis staying there to leave immediately. Several papers also note that two demonstrations will be held tomorrow, against the government’s planned austerity measures and the failure to pass a bill for more equal military service. Haaretz and the Times of Israel report that Egypt’s first democratically elected government was sworn in yesterday.