Netanyahu discussed peace process with King Abdullah, meets Mubarak today
In the UK and international press today, BBC Online and the Telegraph note that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was heckled yesterday by bereaved families during a memorial service for those that died during the recent Carmel forest wildfire. Several papers report that a vulture caught in Saudi Arabia is suspected of spying for Israel after it was found wearing a GPS transmitter tag from the Tel Aviv University. The University said the vulture was tagged for a migratory study project. The Guardian and the Independent report that the Knesset approved an inquiry into the funding of a series of Israeli human rights organisations. Reuters notes that the European Union executive said yesterday that it was the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect Iran’s nuclear sites. The news wire also reports that the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Israel was canceled due to an ongoing strike by diplomats and staff at the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
In the Israeli press this morning, Haaretz notes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported a proposal by Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour Benjamin Ben Eliezer to allow for more than 5,000 Palestinian work permits in Israel. The paper notes that Netanyahu made the decision as a positive gesture towards Eliezer and the Labour party who threatened to quit the coalition if no progress was made with the peace process. The papers also note that Netanyahu and other politicians attending the memorial service yesterday for those that died during the Carmel fire were heckled by angry mourners. Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post note that EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton met with Israeli leaders in Israel yesterday. During her meeting with Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister told Ashton that Israel will lift the conditions on Gaza if all weapons smuggling into the Strip was stopped. The Jerusalem Post notes that incoming IDF Chief of Staff Yoav Galant announced on Tuesday that Col. (res.) Lior Lotan will be the next IDF spokesperson. Haaretz and Ynetnews note that Netanyahu spoke on the phone yesterday with King Abdullah II of Jordan who urged the Israeli prime minister to take “swift action” towards the peace process and said the deadlock in talks is threatening the entire region.