Media Summary

Abbas claims Britain, France will recognise Palestinian state

In the UK and international press today, several papers note that the two main suspects involved in the murder of an Italian pro-Palestinian activist were killed by Hamas in Gaza on Tuesday. All papers also report on antigovernment protests in Syria. In the latest developments, the Syrian government announced that it would lift the 48-year-old state of emergency law.

In the Israeli press, Haaretz notes that PA President Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday that Britain and France would recognise a Palestinian state. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post reports that the US rejected Palestinian plans to ask the UN Security Council to recognise a Palestinian state by September. Ynetnews notes that the Syrian government yesterday approved the lifting of a 48-year-old state of emergency law. Haaretz notes that US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said that the US is skeptical whether the new Syrian law to drop the state of emergency will make the country less restrictive. Haaretz also reports that a group of Israeli public figures and intellectuals intend to sign a petition supporting a Palestinian declaration of statehood.

All papers note that a new European mediator has been appointed to mediate the prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel involving the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. The papers also note that the two suspects involved in the murder of an Italian activist in Gaza were killed yesterday by Hamas security forces.