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Media Summary

Israeli, Russian officials meet over EU peace initiative

The unrest in Syria continues to dominate Middle East coverage in the UK media today. The Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Times, Financial Times and Scotsman note President Bashar Assad’s decision to appoint a panel to review elements of Syria’s emergency laws. The Guardian, Economist and New Statesman have analysis pieces on the situation in Syria. In other items, the Guardian, Independent and BBC Online note the appearance in court of a Gazan engineer thought to have been abducted from Ukraine by the Israeli security services. The Jewish Chronicle notes that a proposed amendment to British universal jurisdiction laws is to be reviewed by the House of Lords. The paper also notes that a former head of British intelligence has referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists, and has a comment piece by journalist Melanie Phillips on criticism of a recent article she wrote on the terror attack in Itamar. The Spectator has a piece on a new group formed by British Muslims who support Israel. BBC Online also reports a statement by Jewish Agency Head Natan Sharansky that the Argentinian government has pledged to continue investigations into two terror attacks on Jewish targets in the 1990s. City AM notes Foreign Secretary William Hague’s call on Syria to show restraint and begin reform. The Daily Telegraph and the Times note Israel’s revelation this week of Hezbollah underground weapons facilities in south Lebanon. Israeli President Shimon Peres has a comment piece in the Guardian.

There is broad coverage in the Israeli media of a decision by state comptroller Micha Lidenstrauss to investigate allegations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu related to campaign donations and privately sponsored travel. Haaretz and Ynetnews report the seizing by Turkey of a consignment of Iranian arms en route to Syria. Haaretz has an additional piece on talks between Israeli and Russian leaders to prevent Russian recognition of a Palestinian state, and notes a statement by a former British intelligence chief that Britain did not always ‘feel safe’ sharing intelligence with Israel. The Jerusalem Post has a piece on a conference of Arab oppositionists in Jordan, and an article on a drill conducted by the IDF this week. Ynetnews notes expected increased Syrian protests today, and also quotes a report by the British Foreign Office expressing concern over the ‘growing climate of intolerance’ in Israeli society.