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Media Summary

Netanyahu says he is willing to meet with Abbas in Ramallah

In the UK and international media today, most papers report on the ongoing violence in Syria as gunboats were used to quell anti-government protesters in the coastal city of Latakia yesterday. Associated Press, Independent, Guardian and Reuters note that Israel approved the building of 277 apartments in the settlement bloc of Ariel in the West Bank. In other news, the papers note that the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resumed yesterday with the judge ordering the trial to continue privately without TV cameras. The Telegraph and Scotsman report that Iranian snipers are being used by the Syrian regime in the crackdown on anti-government protesters. BBC Online notes that thousands of Palestinian refugees have fled from the Syrian port city of Latakia due to the government’s crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

In the Israeli newspapers today, the papers continue to report on developments of the social protest movement in Israel. The organisers of the social protests announced yesterday an alternative panel of experts to present socioeconomic solutions within 10 days. Haaretz newspaper leads with a story that US senator Patrick Leahy is promoting a bill to suspend US aid to three elite IDF units that carry out operations in the West Bank and Gaza.

In other news, the Jerusalem Post notes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with a delegation of US congressmen yesterday, and said that he is willing to invite PA President Mahmoud Abbas to his home in Jerusalem to hold direct talks or would travel to Ramallah to meet with him. The papers also note that the Israeli air force struck this morning at four targets in Gaza following a Grad rocket strike on the southern city of Beer Sheva last night. Ynetnews and IBA Radio note that Al-Hayat newspaper reported that a second round of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas over a prisoner exchange deal involving Gilad Shalit took place yesterday in Cairo.