Israel prepares for ‘Nakba Day’ events
The events in Syria continue to dominate Middle East-related coverage in the UK media. The Independent has a piece arguing that Syrian President Bashar Assad should face international justice. Reuters, meanwhile, notes claims by Syrian officials that Assad has ordered security forces not to shoot at protestors today. The Daily Telegraph notes that the British government has proposed that Assad and four of his inner circle be placed on an EU travel ban and have assets frozen. The Guardian also notes that the EU is expected to agree on personal sanctions against the Syrian president. In other items, several papers report the conviction of suspected Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk, and his release pending appeal. The Guardian has a piece on ‘reinventing’ the Palestinian movement in light of the civilian demonstrations of the ‘Arab Spring.’ The paper also has a piece noting ‘sceptical optimism’ among Palestinians following the unity agreement, an item noting that an Al-Jazeera journalist arrested in Syria is now thought to be in Iran, and an article on the arrest of two North African men who are suspected of planning an attack on a synagogue in New York. The Independent notes that Saudi troops are set to stay in Bahrain, possible increasing tensions with Iran. The Times reports on the Mubarak family in Egypt being questioned on corruption charges. The Financial Times notes that a Muslim Brotherhood member in Egypt is to stand for the presidency. Jewish News notes the Shalit family’s plans to intensify its campaign to secure the freedom of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. The Jewish Chronicle has a feature on Israel at 63. The Spectator notes a new public campaign to highlight Israel’s positive achievements and pluralistic society. The Economist has a piece on Israeli firms dealing in new methods in the field of water technology. The Financial Times has a piece on the strong performance of the Palestinian financial Exchange Al-Quds Index.
In the Israeli media, all papers focus on planned events to mark ‘Nakba Day’, the Arab day of mourning for Israel’s establishment. Haaretz speaks to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and has special coverage ahead of the Palestinian declaration of statehood in September. The paper also notes claims that Syrian leader Assad has ordered his troops not to fire on protestors today. The Jerusalem Post has an article on Hezbollah plans to remove weaponry from Syrian soil if the regime is in danger. All papers note the launch of the new Atzmaut ‘Independence’ party by Defence Minister Ehud Barak. Ynetnews has an additional piece on the growing danger of the Gaza arms smuggling tunnels.