In today’s UK media, the Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian and the Independent report on last night’s attack by Sinai terrorists, which killed 16 Egyptian soldiers and then used two armoured personnel carriers to storm the Israeli border. The Guardian notes due to the increasing concern of a security vacuum in the Sinai, Israel has permitted the Egyptian government to station more troops in the region than is allowed under the 1979 peace treaty. The Independent includes a short article noting Israel barred various diplomats from attending a meeting of the non-aligned movement in Ramallah. The World Diary section of the Financial Times includes Israel’s President Shimon Peres’s visit to Greece this week. Various papers continue to focus on the violence in Syria, including the Daily Telegraph’s warning of over 20,000 government troops massed around Aleppo.
Syria continues to dominate Middle East coverage on Sunday, with many focusing on the continued violence and civil war inside Aleppo. In other news, the Sunday Times repeats recent reports from the Israeli media that the US has revealed to Israeli leaders their contingency plans to attack Iran in an effort to prevent an Israeli attack before the presidential elections in November. The paper also reveals that the Bulgarian authorities have circulated a photo via Interpol of the bomber from last month’s terror attack in Burgas. Although his identity is unknown, one theory is that he was a Chechen, allowing him free travel in most of Europe. The Sunday Mirror notes Iran is fuelling tensions by claiming to have tested a new missile with a 200 mile range. The Observer reviews the diaries of a Palestinian author, “almost as sceptical about the Palestinian leaders as he is about their Israeli counterparts”.
In Saturday’s UK media, the Guardian and Daily Telegraph report on British Ambassador to Israel “unusually forthright” interview he gave to Israel’s channel 10 news. In the interview he shared his concern about the eroding support for Israel in the UK. In response BICOM CEO Dermot Kehoe told the Guardian, “The Britain Israel relationship has never been stronger in terms of trade, technology and security cooperation. Our polling shows the relationship is not eroding. The Ambassador is right to highlight the importance of the peace process to the British public. However, Israel is not Goliath. It is a small country surrounded by threats from Iran to Hezbollah to Hamas. The Palestinians also share responsibilities to return to the negotiating table in the search for a lasting peace”. The Independent highlights the warning of Israeli author David Grossman against an Israeli attack on Iran. Middle East coverage continues to focus on Syria. The Daily Telegraph notes the Muslim Brotherhood has now established its own militia. Various papers report on 21 civilians killed inside a Palestinian refugee camp within Damascus. The Guardian includes reporting and analysis on the global UAV industry, noting Israel is a leading developer. Christopher Howse reviews a brief “hidden history of British synagogues” in his column in the Daily Telegraph.
Today’s Israeli media is dominated by last night’s attack on the Israel-Sinai border. All the papers comment on the extreme violence and boldness of the attack. Maariv refers to the post-Mubarak power vacuum that has allowed global jihad groups to gain a foothold in the Sinai. Yediot Ahronot argues that this is a taste of what lies in ahead, warning of a future bloodbath. In Maariv, Ben Caspit points out that Israel had conveyed accurate intelligence to Egypt in the past about planned attacks from Sinai, and had also requested help from the Americans pressuring the Egyptian administration, but without success. Haaretz reports on dozens of rockets and mortars fired at communities in the south. The paper also notes that earlier in the day Israel’s air force killed one terrorist and wounding another in Gaza. According to the IDF, the two were members of the Popular Resistance Committee, involved in an attack in June that killed an Israeli working on the border.
In Sunday’s Israeli media, Yediot Ahronot quotes anonymous cabinet minister who claim they are being excluded from the debate on Iran. “If there is a crucial discussion tomorrow in which we are asked to approve an attack, this would be coming out of nowhere for us. We aren’t ready for it, we aren’t being kept in the loop—they expect us to be a rubber stamp,” One minister is quoted as saying. Israel Hayom is critical of former security officials who have recently spoken out on the subject. Haaretz quotes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was disgruntled with the chatter from insiders and former officials, declaring “If there is a commission of inquiry about attack in Iran, I will say I’m responsible”. Maariv’s lead story exposes “Iranian show of strength”, referring to their recently tested new ballistic missile. Maariv also covers Palestinian Foreign Minister Al-Maliki’s announcement yesterday that the Palestinians will once again ask the UN for international recognition next month. Maariv also reports that Quartet envoy Tony Blair will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu later this week. All the papers include reports on the most recent protests held Saturday night for equal military service and social justice.