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Media Summary

Panetta calls for re-start of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s visit to Israel dominates Israel-related coverage in the UK media today. The Guardian, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph and Reuters have articles on the visit, and Panetta’s call for renewed negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. In other items, the Guardian, Independent, Times and BBC Online note an arson attack on a mosque in northern Israel yesterday. The Guardian and the Times note plans by Opposition leader Tzipi Livni to visit the UK after the amendment of legislation on universal jurisdiction. The Guardian also reports on efforts to restore a Tripoli synagogue. The Independent reports efforts to unite the Syrian opposition. The Times, meanwhile, has a report and an editorial on efforts by the Syrian regime to intimidate Syrian dissidents in the UK. The Scotsman notes the resignation of the chairwoman of Tnuva foods in Israel. Reuters runs an additional piece on a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in jail in Israel. The Evening Standard notes the closing in London of an Ahava store, which had been targeted by pro-Palestinian campaigners. The paper also reports that Education Secretary Michael Gove has stopped eight schools sending pupils to a Palestinian literature festival. The Guardian has an opinion piece critical of President Obama’s opposition to Palestinian statehood. The Times also publishes a letter from Mauricio Rodriguez-Munera, Ambassador, Republic of Colombia, concerning Colombia’s support for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The print editions of the Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom and Haaretz lead with yesterday’s mosque attack, and police diversion of resources to prevent “price tag” attacks. All papers’ front pages also have pieces on PM Netanyahu’s failure to pass the Trajtenberg Committee recommendations in Cabinet.

In the Israeli media, all papers focus on the visit to Israel of US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. All papers also report on the arson attack against a mosque in northern Israel. Haaretz notes statements by PA officials that the Palestinian economy will be affected by a US Congress decision to block an aid package to the Palestinians. The paper also notes a speech given by former Mossad director Meir Dagan, where he reiterated his previous position, that Iran is not close to achieving a nuclear weapon. Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post report efforts by the US Administration to unblock the aid. Ynetnews notes PM Netanyahu’s failure to pass the the Trajtenberg Committee recommendations for social change in Israel in the Cabinet, and speculation that this may mark the ‘starter pistol’ for the next general elections in Israel. Maariv has an interview with a far right activist in Israel regarding the process whereby “price tag” attacks are carried out.