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Media Summary

3 million civilians caught in Syria conflict on Turkish border

The Guardian reports that time is running out for three million civilians on Syria’s border with Turkey, caught in the crosshairs of a brutal regime offensive that has led Ankara to threaten military action against Bashar al-Assad if his forces do not pull back. Reuters reports that  Turkey has sent major reinforcements to Syria’s north western Idlib region and “all options are on the table”, a senior official said on Sunday.

Reuters and the Associated Press report that the US envoy warned Israel on Sunday not to declare sovereignty over West Bank land without Washington’s consent, pushing back against calls for immediate action by ultra-nationalists within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.

The Associated Press reports that Israel has been accused of torturing three Palestinians deemed responsible for a fatal roadside bombing in the West Bank in August 2019.

The Guardian reports that time is running out for three million civilians on Syria’s border with Turkey, caught in the crosshairs of a brutal regime offensive that has led Ankara to threaten military action against Bashar al-Assad if his forces do not pull back. Reuters reports that  Turkey has sent major reinforcements to Syria’s north western Idlib region and “all options are on the table”, a senior official said on Sunday.

The Times reports that Iran claimed yesterday that it has successfully launched a satellite only to admit that the craft failed to reach orbit, after a Phoenix rocket was supposed to launch a communications satellite.

The Associated Press reports that the US has signalled to Iraq its willingness to extend sanctions waivers enabling the country to continue importing vital Iranian gas and electricity imports, three Iraqi officials said this week, in a move that represents a key test of Baghdad-Washington ties.

The Times reports that Dubai has taken on a bid to fly to Mars, as a spaceship named Hope arrives in the city today on the first leg of its mission to the planet.

In The Independent, Bel Trew argues that the UK Government has ‘a duty to protect civilians exposed to conflict’, as the UK-based group Action on Armed Violence found that in the last eight years, 90 per cent of the casualties in populated areas caused by explosive weapons were civilians.

In The Telegraph, Dia Chakravarty writes that the plight of the Yazidis appears to drift in and out of the world’s conscience, after the supposed defeat of ISIS in 2019.

In the Financial Times, Ahmed Mehdi and Bassam Fattouh assert Iraq’s energy challenges are growing amid geopolitical turmoil, meaning upcoming decisions on whether the US will grant sanctions waivers will be crucial to the economic future of the country.

The Israeli media report the Supreme Court decision to allow Arab-Israeli politician Heba Yazbak of the Joint List to run in the upcoming election, overturning a Central Elections Committee decision to disqualify her due to past social media posts supporting acts of terrorism. In the 5-4 decision the judges said there was not a critical mass of evidence attesting to terrorist support and negation of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The ruling was criticised across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Likud minister Yariv Levin said: “The Supreme Court has spat in the face of the bereaved families and has legitimised the terrorist sympathiser, Heba Yazbak, from the terrorist sympathising party, the Joint List.” Even Blue and White chief Benny Gantz criticised the decision, saying: “As someone who for years commanded and led IDF combat troops, I say that Heba Yazbak’s remarks that expressed support for terrorists should have led to her disqualification.”

Haaretz reported yesterday on a massive security breach in a Likud party election application that may have leaked the personal information of Israel’s entire register of voters  – over six million people. The Elector app allows Likud (and other political parties who use the platform) to send targeted messages to potential voters, especially on election day, and to manage voter and polling databases. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as recently as last week urged supporters to download the app. The information leaked reportedly includes full names, addresses, gender, and identity card numbers of every eligible Israeli voter.