Media Summary

Cabinet approves Shalit prisoner exchange deal

In the international and UK press today, all papers carry the news that a prisoner exchange deal was reached between Israel and Hamas, which will result in the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. In other news, several outlets note that Iran backed a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US. The Scotsman carries a piece by Javier Solana calling for stronger action to be taken against Syria in order to stop the attacks by the regime on civilians.

In the Israeli press, all newspaper’s front pages note that a prisoner exchange deal involving the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit that was agreed upon and announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night. Haaretz carries analyses pieces by Ari Shavit, who calls the deal a “victory for solidarity” and one by Yossi Verter who writes that it is a “deal of a lifetime.” The Jerusalem Post also extensively covers the prisoner deal, noting that it will be a boost for Hamas and a weakening of Fatah in internal Palestinian politics.

In the latest developments, Israeli media outlets report that that early this morning the cabinet approved the prisoner exchange deal by a vote of 26 in favour and 3 against. The Jerusalem Post notes that Defence Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel has taken a great step forward in bringing Shalit home. In other news, Haaretz notes that China’s Foreign Ministry has urged Syria to honour its promise for reform. The paper also notes that Syria rejected a UN report on human rights to improve the situation in the country.