The main Middle East related news in the UK and international press today is the resignation of the Syrian cabinet following two weeks of protests against the government across the country. Syrian President Bashar Assad removed the cabinet in an effort to deflect the anti-government protests taking placing place across the country. The Independent reports that as a counter to the ongoing demonstrations, President Assad also sent thousands of his supporters out onto the street to demonstrate in favour of the government. Reuters reports that President Assad is expected to deliver his first public speech today since the protest started and it is anticipated that he may lift the emergency laws imposed on the country. In other news, BBC Online reports that Facebook have taken down a page on its social networking website calling for a third Palestinian Intifada, which according to a Facebook spokesperson represented a call for violence. In other news, the Telegraph reports that Jordan is trying to recover an artefact that could be the most important Christian texts ever found.
In the Israeli press, the papers note that the Syrian cabinet resigned yesterday and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly condemned the Syrian government violence towards antigovernment protesters. All papers note that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday called for Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The papers also note that Facebook removed a page on its website that called for support for a third Intifada. Meanwhile, Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post report that Israeli police arrested nine settlers in the West Bank after clashes took place in the outpost of Givat Ronen. IBA News and the Jerusalem Post report that Israeli planes targeted a terrorist cell and a smuggling tunnel in southern Gaza early this morning in response to a rocket fired into the western Negev on Tuesday night.