Media Summary

Hamas leader visits Cairo for Shalit deal talks

In the UK and international media today, the papers continue to report on the violence taking place in Syria as the government cracks down on anti-government protesters. The Independent reports that Syrian forces attacked a Palestinian refugee camp in the coastal city of Latakia.

The Telegraph notes that Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man yesterday as he approached the border fence between Gaza and Israel. The Guardian and Independent report that Israel arrested a Palestinian journalist who works for Al Jazeera over security related reasons.

In Israeli newspapers today, all papers lead with the news of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas officials in Cairo regarding a prisoner exchange deal that could include the release of Gilad Shalit. The papers also note that President Shimon Peres celebrated his 88th birthday yesterday. The Jerusalem Post newspaper reports that high-level defence officials have suggested that Israel offer the Palestinian Authority a series of goodwill and economic gestures, in order to convince Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to back down from the bid at the UN to declare a state.

Meanwhile, Haaretz reports that Defence Minister Ehud Barak said that there is a “grain of truth” in reports that prisoner exchange talks were taking place in Cairo. The Jerusalem Post notes that Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said that Israel hopes the Palestinians will back down from their bid for statehood and noted that Quartet Envoy Tony Blair was conducting meetings on the matter to convince Palestinians to resume direct peace talks. The Jerusalem Post and Ynetnews note that security forces in Egypt foiled an attempt to blow up the Sinai gas pipeline that carries gas to Jordan and Israel.