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Media Summary

Palestinian cancer patients turned away from hospital due to funding issues

The BBC report on both the Negev summit between Israel and the Abraham Accords participants, including Egypt and the US, as well as the deadly terror attack in Israel yesterday evening. The Guardian notes that Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack – the intelligence group SITE said it was the first time it had taken credit for an attack in Israel since 2017.

Reuters reports that the Israeli ambassador to Manama said on Monday that Israel will appoint a military attache to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain soon.

The BBC also reports that a lack of funding for East Jerusalem’s Augusta Victoria Hospital has meant that 500 cancer patients have been turned away since September 2021. The Palestinian Authority (PA) – which is supposed to fund their medical care – owes the hospital some £55m. This has left it unable to afford the expensive drugs needed for chemotherapy and other treatments.

In The Telegraph, Dore Gold argues that the West cannot afford to be complacent about the Iranian threat. “The ongoing negotiations between the West and Iran will undoubtedly influence Tehran’s power projection capabilities in the future. Without some major change in Iranian intentions towards Western states, European countries are not likely to remain merely political rivals. They could soon become the very real targets of Iran’s increasingly robust missile forces.”

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has sought to reassure Israel and its Gulf allies that Iran will never acquire atomic weapons, ahead of the possible renewal of the nuclear deal with Tehran, according to the Guardian. Meanwhile, the Independent reports that Rob Malley, the US special envoy for Iran, spoke this weekend at the Doha Conference and warned that a deal to save the nuclear accord with Iran is neither imminent nor inevitable as diplomatic efforts stall over Tehran’s demand that Washington removes a terrorist designation on the elite Revolutionary Guards.

The Times writes that an academic imprisoned in Iran for more than 800 days has told how she rugby-tackled an Australian ambassador to stop him leaving. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, 34, a Cambridge graduate with British and Australian nationality, was taken prisoner in 2018 after attending a seminar in Iran on Shia Islam. She writes in her book to be released this week that almost a year after she was jailed the guards insisted on filming her meeting with Ian Biggs, the Australian ambassador. But the guards ordered Biggs to leave when she refused to be filmed, at which point Moore-Gilbert dived to grab Biggs around his legs.

The Financial Times reports that the rising price of food epitomises the deep impact that the conflict in Ukraine is having on Egypt. Soaring oil and commodity prices have hit one of the world’s biggest wheat importers hard, as has the loss of tourists from Russia and Ukraine. This comes on top of billions of dollars of outflows in recent months from Egyptian debt held by foreigners. Last week, Cairo asked the IMF for assistance, the third time in six years. Egypt is already one of the biggest borrowers from the fund after Argentina.

Reuters writes that Turkey is among countries that could offer Kyiv security guarantees as part of any deal with Russia to end the war in Ukraine.

In the Israeli media, the fatal shooting attack in Hadera last night committed by two Israeli Arabs, cousins from Umm el-Fahm, dominate the news. In Israel Hayom, Yoav Limor writes that unlike the terror attack in Beer Sheva last week, yesterday’s shooting appears to have been better planned and was not one terrorist acting from personal motives, but two terrorists with machine guns. He adds that the sequence of terror attacks — nine since the start of the month, with six killed — is not coincidence, as is the increasing involvement of Israeli Arabs in terrorism. “With the increasing anarchy in the Arab sector and the loss of governance in large parts of the Negev and Galilee, the time has come for action: Israel must declare a real national programme, one that is budgeted and given resources, and stop treating this as if were fate.”

Speaking on similar lines, Ben Caspit argues in Maariv that the government needs to “stop planning and start acting” with regards to lack of governance in the Bedouin south and Galilee. He writes that the government’s initial steps – recruitment of an extra 1,100 police officers, billions of shekels in budgets, plans and charts – “have been impressive … [but] when you come down to it, to announce the recruitment of 1,100 police officers does not increase security. What increases security is that those police officers make an appearance and deploy in the field and get to work. Not 1,100 (among them 300 intended for the south) – 5,000. And if that’s too much for us, then we should immediately come up with an emergency plan to recruit 5,000 young people who’ve been discharged from combat units over the past three years.” Putting the attack in Hadera in context of the Negev summit, Caspit concludes: “A conjunction of dramatic geopolitical events have changed the region completely. The event in Sde Boker is not a fake event of the type we saw in the nineties. This is the real thing. … The terror in Hadera yesterday and Beer Sheva last week affected the countries that sent their foreign ministers to Sde Boker with much greater intensity than it did us. The alliance that Israel is forming now against this terror is of extraordinary importance.”

In Yediot Ahronot, Nahum Barnea, expounds on the positive aspects of the Sde Boker summit: “Israel is not a mistress and not a guest; it has been upgraded to the position of open partner. Its acceptance is not contingent on America’s auspices. Just the opposite, the American secretary of state is Israel’s guest. Another positive aspect is Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s decision to send his foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, to the meeting … it’s true that there has been a peace agreement with Egypt for 43 years, but the normalisation agreement with the Persian Gulf states has breathed new life into it.” He too juxtaposes the summit with the attack in Hadera and writes: “The Palestinians were not invited to Sde Boker, and aside from lip service, will not have a place on the agenda. For Bennett and Lapid, that’s good news. But as we learned last night, the Palestinian issue has a way of its own, usually a violent way, of forcing itself on reality. They may not be at the table, but they are in Hadera and in Beer Sheva and in Jerusalem … terrorism is also a part of the Middle East.”

Walla reports that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defence Minister Benny Gantz met yesterday to reduce tensions after Gantz’s tripartite meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly vetoed by Bennett. Both sides are trying to calm down and lower the height of the flames. Both ministers and their teams have also clashed over coordination and update glitches in recent weeks, including the fact that Bennett updated Gantz about his meeting with Putin only after landing in Moscow, and next month’s trip to India in which Bennett announced last week he intends to travel there three days before Gantz.

Kan News reports that coalition whip MK Idit Silman (Yamina) is opposed to the so-called Western Wall compromise, a deal that would grant additional freedoms to non-Orthodox streams of Judaism at the Jerusalem holy site. Ever since the Netanyahu government agreed to the compromise in 2016, it has stalled. Silman told the broadcaster: “There’s a status quo with the Western Wall that I don’t think is going to change. All of the attention around this is just demagoguery. This is a house of prayer. There’s a minority — a Reform minority — that is making a lot of noise as though it’s the majority. We need to say the truth: That’s not the case. This government and certainly us — or at least I — need to preserve the Orthodox character of the Western Wall.” However, Blue and White party MK Alon Tal, a member of the Masorti movement who has been deeply involved in the current negotiations over the Western Wall, said the Western Wall compromise would not change what Silman describes as the sites “Orthodox character”.

Haaretz reports that members of a settler organisation have moved into the Petra Hotel in Jerusalem’s Old City. Ateret Cohanim occupies only part of the Petra Hotel, but Christians in Jerusalem consider the hotel a strategic building that could affect the character of the Old City’s entire Christian Quarter. Located near Jaffa Gate, the hotel is one of two large buildings the organisation bought from the previous Greek Orthodox patriarch, Irenaios, in a controversial deal that the Greek Orthodox church then tried to get overturned. However, following an 18-year legal battle, which is currently in the hands of the Supreme Court, Ateret Cohanim members entered the building’s first floor under police escort. Under the terms of the lease, this floor is separate from the rest of the hotel, which is why the organisation was able to take possession.

Israel Hayom reports that 50 new Ukrainian refugees arrived in Israel on Saturday as part of an initiative spearheaded by Dr. Miriam Adelson, who sent her private plane to bring the refugees to the Jewish state to start a new life. Some of the new immigrants landed in Israel after experiencing terrible hardships in the first days of the war in Ukraine. “We are thankful for being saved from the horrible place we were in,” one said. “It’s thrilling for us to arrive in the Jewish state. We feel at home here and know things will be good for us here.”