Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to meet US officials in Washington
The main item of Israel-related coverage in the UK media today is the claim by Iran to have arrested a group of people who spied for Israel in Iran. The Guardian and BBC Online note increased tensions between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, and attempts by Hamas to curb rocket attacks from Gaza. In other items, the Guardian today quotes Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni as saying that an ‘evil spirit’ of intolerance is currently sweeping over Israel, characterised by legislation to investigate the funding of some left wing political organisations. The paper also reports on a Palestinian holiday advertisement in the UK which ignored the existence of Israel. The Independent notes rival bids by Israeli and Palestinian developers for a housing development in Jerusalem. The paper also reports a dispute between the IDF and pro-Palestinian groups over the circumstances of the death of a Palestinian woman who died after having been present at a recent demonstration in Bili’in. The Scotsman notes an increase in penalties in Syria for ‘honour killings.’ BBC Online has additional pieces on a report by EU Consuls-General in Jerusalem recommending that the EU treat East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, and the killing of a Palestinian farmer on the Gaza border by Israeli forces. Metro London has a piece quoting a Palestinian official who says that the PLO will seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN in September. The Times has a piece discussing the implications of a Palestinian unilateral move of this kind. The Independent has two letters on human rights in Israel.
In the Israeli media, all papers note a televised interview in Iran with a man claiming to have taken part in espionage activities for Israel. The Jerusalem Post notes two recent visits to Israel by White House senior adviser Dennis Ross. All papers report rocket attacks from Gaza on the Ashkelon area yesterday. Haaretz has a piece on remarks by a senior UN official pledging to help Lebanon demarcate its maritime border with Israel. The Jerusalem Post notes a statement by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre saying that Norway was not on the verge of recognising a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines. Ynetnews and Maariv note a new report by right wing organisation Im Tirtzu in Israel, claiming that certain left wing organisations receive funds originating in Arab countries. All papers also include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criticism of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s attack on Likud officials for opposing the probe into Israeli human rights groups on Monday, saying that the ‘Likud party isn’t a dictatorship.’