Media Summary

BBC News , The Financial Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian report The White House has told Congress it wants to send more than $1bn (£800m) in weapons to Israel, despite pressure over Israel’s Rafah offensive. 


BBC News , The Financial Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian report The White House has told Congress it wants to send more than $1bn (£800m) in weapons to Israel, despite pressure over Israel’s Rafah offensive.  The package would include tank rounds, mortars and armoured tactical vehicles, according to Reuters news agency. The plan must still be approved by lawmakers.

Gideon Rachman writes in The Financial Times about the US-Israeli relationship, arguing that Netanyahu knows that he relies on the US. The Telegraph adds that The White House has admitted that total victory over Hamas is ‘not possible’.

BBC NewsSky News, The Guardianand The Telegraph report on Tzav 9, a group which has been organising to block aid trucks as they make their way through Israel to a small number of crossings into Gaza.

The Economist reports on Israel’s Independence Day, whose official ceremony was pre-recorded this year.

The Guardian reports that protesters chained themselves together in front of the entrance to Google’s annual developer conference on Tuesday in protest of the tech company’s ties to Israeli military projects. Thousands of attendees waiting to enter Google I/O were redirected to another entrance, but the event started on time.

Reuters reports that Jordan has foiled a suspected Iranian-led plot to smuggle weapons into the kingdom to help opponents of the ruling monarchy carry out acts of sabotage, according to two Jordanian sources with knowledge of the matter. The weapons were sent by Iranian-backed militias in Syria to a cell of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan that has links to the military wing of Palestinian group Hamas.

The Telegraph reports that uncertainty over Israel’s compliance with international law poses a “challenge” for the UK, the Middle East minister has said, as Britain comes under increasing pressure from activists to ban arms exports.

The Times reports that Israel has uncovered detailed papers that reveal Hamas was planning on setting up base in Turkey.

Columbia University is facing an exodus of donors in response to the encampments on campus, The Times reports.

The Times also reports on a documentary about the October 7 attack on the Nova music festival which is having its UK premiere — despite cinema chains refusing to show it. The director talks to Anne Joseph in an interview.

The Times also reports that Israel is accused by Human Rights Watch of killing or injuring at least 31 aid workers since the war in Gaza began.
In Yediot Ahronot, Michael Milshtein fears that, in Gaza, “Israel has ostensibly dropped its old preconception, but has begun to embrace new ones, which reflect its continued misunderstanding of Hamas.” Israel, he says, continues to hold a “mistaken perception of Hamas, which is defined by the narrow label of ‘terror organization.’ Hamas is a flexible entity with a high degree of adaptability to changes, and even after taking severe blows, it has managed to survive and even to maintain its status as a dominant actor in the Gaza Strip.” He cautions that “The people responsible for drafting Israeli strategy need to have an in-depth and sober understanding of Hamas and not to err again by underestimating its strength and motivations. Without occupying the entire Gaza Strip, which will make it possible to significantly degrade Hamas’s capabilities, and without remaining for an extended period of time in the Gaza Strip to provide protection for building an alternative, no new reality will be able to emerge. At best, Hamas will permit alternatives that will serve as a cosmetic cover for its continued hegemony and, more likely, it will use force against any alternative regime.”

Haaretz reports that the US government has moved a $1 Billion military aid package to Israel to the next stage of the legislative process. The package, which includes tank rounds, mortars and armoured tactical vehicles, will now go for Congressional review. The paper also reports President Biden threatening to veto a Republican bill which aims to circumvent the White House’s ability to restrict the uses to which aid to Israel is put, in the wake of Biden’s withholding of 3,500 bombs of up to 2,000 pounds each due to US opposition to a major operation in Rafah. The White House said the bill “seeks to limit the President’s discretion to ensure that the delivery of certain defence articles and services aligns with U.S. foreign policy objectives.” Further, “the bill is a misguided reaction to a deliberate distortion of the Administration’s approach to Israel. The President has been clear: we will always ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself. Our commitment to Israel is ironclad.”

Israel Hayom features an interview with Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman, who said of the government: “They are taking us to ruin. The government doesn’t plan anything, it has no vision, no plan on how to prosecute the war. It had wall-to-wall international support, and Netanyahu, with his dithering, caused that to be lost as well.”

Maariv reports protests in northern communities during yesterday’s Independence Day, following the death of an Israel civilian killed by a Hezbollah attack. Mateh Asher Regional Council Chairman Moshe Davidovitch, who also serves as the chairman of the Confrontation Line Communities Forum, said: “Seven months have elapsed in which the residents of the north have been uprooted from their homes, and they have no clue as to when they’re going to be returning home. We are demanding that the government present an action plan and explain to the residents when they’re going to return home. Seven months in which business-owners have buckled—farmers, tourism operators, professionals—people who are beside themselves with despair and frustration.”

Kan Radio quotes former Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Liel warning that a large-scale IDF operation in Rafah might severely affect relations with Cairo. “If we conquer Rafah without removing the entire population, first the civilian population,” he says, “we could reach a situation that significantly damages relations with Egypt, which today is the most important country to us in the Middle East and one of the most important countries for us in the world.”

Ynet features news from the UK, where two men appeared in a British court on Tuesday, charged with planning to attack and kill members of the Jewish community and others with automatic weapons in northwest England. Walid Saadaoui, 36, and Amar Hussein, 50, were charged with the preparation of terrorist acts against Jewish targets, inspired by ISIS. The UK’s Community Security Trust, the principle organisation combatting antisemitism in the country, said “this is one of a number of recent and ongoing cases that demonstrate why the Jewish community needs such extensive security measures and why our continuing partnership with police and government is so vital.”

Ynet also includes prominent voices from within the Israel advocacy sector criticising the government’s response international criticism of Israel. Eylon Levy, the British-Israeli who was, for the first few months of the war, Israel’s most prominent advocate in the UK, said “the State of Israel has declared ‘an absolute failure’ in the public relations war. I’m not saying this as criticism of the wonderful people who are on the front lines doing the work; I’m speaking at the state level. Public relations is a war, and the state simply did not define this war strategically with the necessary ammunition, protective gear and manpower, and we are seeing the results.” Activist Yosef Haddad concurred, saying “the whole issue of public relations in Israel was perceived as something incidental. Israeli public relations were seen as something not essential. We said ‘we have the strongest army in the world,’ ‘we have the strongest country in the Middle East,’ we don’t need public relations. While we were sleeping and dozing off, our enemies entered politics, academia, culture and sports and planted this virus of terror everywhere.”