Israel indicts ‘abducted’ Palestinian engineer
The main item of Israel related coverage in the UK media today is the filing of an indictment in Israel against a Gaza Palestinian engineer, who is suspected of playing a key role in the development of Hamas’s weapons capability. The Guardian, Times and BBC Online all note this latest development. The Independent, Guardian, Scotsman and BBC Online also note the murder of Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis in the West Bank city of Jenin yesterday. In additional items, the Guardian publishes two letters critical of Israeli President Shimon Peres. The paper also has a piece by an Israeli academic arguing for the retraction of the Goldstone Report, in light of the latest opinion piece in the Washington Post by Judge Richard Goldstone. The Financial Times notes Israel’s efforts to bolster its international standing following Goldstone’s article. Sky News Online also notes Israel’s support for the retraction of the document. Reuters reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to discuss the role of a German bank that is providing financial services to Iran in their upcoming meeting. The Daily Mail, Independent and Daily Telegraph note that oil prices have reached a 30 month high of $120 per barrel of Brent Crude. The Daily Mail, Guardian and Financial Times note a report by the Commons’ Committee on Arms Export Controls, according to which Britain sold weapons to a number of Middle East regimes which could be used in repression of civilian protests. The Daily Telegraph notes a Syrian media report suggesting that the country’s emergency laws will soon be replaced. The Guardian runs a piece denying that Goldstone’s latest statements vindicates Israeli conduct during Operation Cast Lead.
In the Israeli media, all papers note the filing of an indictment against Palestinian engineer Darar Abu Sisi, and the murder of actor Juliano Mer-Khamis in Jenin. Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post report that the US State Department in a briefing to the press affirmed that the opinion piece last week by Judge Richard Goldstone concurs with the long-standing US view — that Israel did not commit war crimes during Operation Cast Lead. The Jerusalem Post notes a statement by White House Middle East Adviser Dennis Ross that the US does not support a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. Ynetnews, meanwhile, notes that the US has suspended arms sales to Lebanon. Maariv reports the commencement of a partial strike by doctors in two health funds in Israel.