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Media Summary

Fayyad offers to form Fatah-Hamas unity government

In the UK and international papers today, all papers lead with the protests and uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. The main headlines include the latest protests and violence taking place in Libya as Muammar Gaddafi has used force and violence to quell the protesters. In other news, the Independent and Scotsman note that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that Israel took a “grave view” of two Iranian navy ships that plan to cross the Suez Canal on their way to Syria. The Independent reports that King Abdullah II yesterday called for “quick and real” political reform and to give the public a greater role in governing. The Guardian and the Independent report that British novelist Ian McEwan accepted an Israeli literary award in Jerusalem and voiced his opinion against the Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Over the weekend, the Sunday Times, Financial Times and Sunday Telegraph reported that PM Netanyahu said that Iran was exploiting the instability in Egypt and the region as it attempts to send two naval ships through the Suez Canal. BBC Online on Saturday noted that the US vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

In the Israeli press today, all papers note that the passage for two Iranian ships trying to cross the Suez Canal has been delayed by 48 hours. The papers note that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel took a “grave view” towards the Iranian ships and sees it as a move by Iran to capitalise on the instability in the region. Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post note that Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad has offered Hamas to join a Palestinian unity government in an effort to form a new cabinet. The papers also note that Uzi Arad resigned as head of the National Security Council after his appointment as ambassador to London was vetoed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The Jerusalem Post and IBA Radio note that President Shimon Peres will leave today for a four day state visit to Spain to celebrate 25 years of relations between the two countries. Yisrael Hayom reports that a controversial bill to investigate left-wing Israeli groups will be brought to a vote next week.