Mubarak hands power to Vice-President, refuses to step down
The latest events in Egypt dominate Middle East coverage in the UK media today. All papers and news outlets have reports and analysis of President Mubarak’s speech last night, his transfer of power to his Vice-President, Omar Suleiman, and the continued protests. The Guardian has an analysis piece suggesting that Mubarak’s ‘defiance’ could ‘lead to disaster.’ The paper has an additional piece on the Erez Checkpoint separating Israel and Gaza. The Times notes Israeli Ambassador to the UK Ron Prosor’s attack on ‘anti-Israel bias’ in the UK. The Financial Times focuses on the crucial role being played by the Egyptian army in events in Egypt. The Jewish Chronicle notes that a senior IDF officer used an alias while in the UK to avoid attempts to arrest him under universal jurisdiction laws. The paper also notes statements by Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders that the group could ‘re-think’ Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel if it came to power, and has an additional piece on new evidence that Syria blocked a possible deal that would have secured the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Jewish News notes Foreign Secretary William Hague’s criticism this week of the ‘belligerent tone’ of Israeli responses to the events in Egypt. The paper also notes anti-Israel boycott campaigners focusing on a UK water company. The Economist has a piece looking into the US alliance with Israel. The Spectator asks if a military coup may be imminent in Egypt. The magazine also has a piece critical of US handling of the crisis in Egypt. BBC Online notes the appointment of a new Cabinet in Jordan. The New Statesman reviews a new drama about the British Mandate in Palestine. The Daily Express reviews a new book about Jerusalem.
In the Israeli media, all papers focus on the latest events in Egypt and their implications for Israel. Haaretz has an additional item on the removal of the Hawara checkpoint on an important traffic artery in the West Bank. Ynetnews and the Jerusalem Post note the growing impatience of the US Administration with the slow pace of reform in Egypt. The Jerusalem Post also quotes Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky on his support for reform and for the protestors in Egypt. Ynetnews also quotes Defence Minister Ehud Barak on the latest developments in Egypt.