Media Summary

Israeli Navy intercepts weapons ship destined for Gaza

In the UK and international press today, several papers report that the Israeli Navy yesterday intercepted a ship smuggling weapons that was heading for Egypt. The weapons onboard  included anti-ship missiles. The cargo is suspected to have originated from Iran and was most likely intended for Hamas. In addition, the papers report that Palestinian protests took place in the West Bank and Gaza yesterday calling for Fatah and Hamas to form a unity government. The Telegraph, BBC Online and Reuters note that a rare political protest took place in Syria where around 40 people marched in the streets in Damascus before dispersing. In other news, all papers note that martial law was declared in Bahrain as government forces clashed with protesters leading to several deaths. Reuters notes that Uruguay said yesterday that it recognised a Palestinian state adding to a growing list of Latin American countries that have supported Palestinian statehood.

In the Israeli press, all papers carry reports on the Israeli Navy’s operation yesterday, were Israeli commandos intercepted a ship carrying weapons heading for Gaza via Egypt. The intercepted ship docked in the port of Ashdod this morning and the navy later today display all the weapons confiscated on the ship. The Israeli press continue to report on new bribery charges that are expected to be brought against former-prime minister Ehud Olmert, who is already standing trial in an unrelated corruption case. The papers note that French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said yesterday that the EU could possibly recognise a Palestinian state, while France would not recognise a state on its own. In related news, the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz report Uruguay yesterday announced that it recognised an independent Palestinian state. Haaretz and Ynetnews note that Hamas yesterday clashed with Palestinian protesters in Gaza who were calling for a unity Palestinian government. The Jerusalem Post notes that Egyptian security forces seized five trucks full of weapons coming from Sudan that were heading for Gaza.