Hamas refuses Red Cross request to prove Gilad Shalit is alive
In the UK and international press today, several papers report that the US expressed its concern over developments in Syria, particularly Syrian troops massing near the Turkish border. BBC Online and the Financial Times report that the US have imposed economic sanctions on Iran’s national airline, Iran Air, stating that the airline provided support to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Scotsman reports that Cyprus has banned all sailing to Gaza from its ports, in response to plans by pro-Palestinian protesters to use its waters in an upcoming flotilla. The Telegraph notes that Israel is conducting a five-day home front defence exercise. The Independent notes that Apple has removed an application from its iPhone services called the Third Intifada. The Jewish Chronicle reports on the appointment of the new Israel ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub.
In the Israeli press, Haaretz focuses on the deadlock in efforts to agree on a prisoner exchange deal involving Gilad Shalit. The papers also report that Hamas has rejected a request by the International Red Cross to prove that Shalit is still alive and to allow the family of Shalit to make contact with him. Haaretz carries a video message by UK minister to the Middle East Alistair Burt, who calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Shalit. In other news, the papers note that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will toughen conditions on Palestinian prisoners, that will still meet international standards and Israeli law, but will not allow prisoners academic study rights. Ynetnews notes that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday criticised the organisers of an upcoming flotilla to Gaza, stating it was neither “necessary or useful” in helping the Palestinian people.