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Media Summary

Hamas attack on school bus sparks Israeli retaliation

The main item of Israel related coverage in the UK media today is the attack on an Israeli school bus by Hamas terrorists yesterday, and the subsequent exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas-controlled Gaza. The Guardian, Times and Reuters note the successful interception of a missile targeting Ashkelon by Israel’s Iron Dome anti missile system.  In other items, the Guardian publishes a number of new Wikileaks cables looking into Israel’s views regarding neighbouring states and its alliances. The paper also has an article on Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis, who was murdered in Jenin this week, and has a letter noting the ‘spotlight’ placed on Israel’s conduct. The paper also reports plans by a Russian Jewish tycoon to launch a satellite TV channel to rival al-Jazeera. The Times has a report from within Syria by a journalist who traveled to the country and was later apprehended by the authorities. The Financial Times has a letter arguing that Israel’s actions in Gaza were entirely ‘proportionate’ particularly in comparison to western responses in Iraq. The paper also runs a letter from Kate Allen, the Director of Amnesty International UK, who calls for the matter of war crimes in the 2008-09 Gaza conflict to be referred to the International Criminal Court. The Guardian also has a series of letters on the Goldstone Report. The New Statesman runs a piece arguing in favour of the ‘right of return’ to Israel of Palestinian refugees of 1948 and their descendants. 

 In the Israeli media, all papers focus on the targeting of a school bus by Hamas in the Gaza area yesterday, the critical wounding of a 16 year old boy and the subsequent exchanges of fire. All papers report the successful performance of the Iron Dome missile system. Haaretz notes that Israel believes Hamas is trying to establish a ‘balance of terror’ between the sides. The paper also notes subsequent efforts by Hamas to call a ceasefire. Ynetnews has a piece on the planned participation of the Mavi Marmama ship in an additional flotilla to Gaza. Maariv quotes a senior IDF officer who notes that the Hamas attacks yesterday were the largest in scale since Operation Cast Lead. Ynetnews reports Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein is planning to order the State Prosecutors’ Office to investigate claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah traveled abroad at the expense of a number of private donors. Haaretz details information from approximately 10,000 documents relating to Israel obtained via Wikileaks. The diplomatic cables are mainly dispatches from the American embassy in Tel Aviv but others were sent from other American embassies and from the State Department in Washington.