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Media Summary

Protesters clash with IDF along Syrian-Israeli border

In the UK and international press today, all news outlets report on clashes between IDF troops and Palestinians from Syria who attempted to cross into the Israeli controlled Golan Heights yesterday. According to Syrian sources on the casualties, the clashes resulted in 20 protesters being killed and over 200 injured. In other news, the Independent notes that Hamas border officials closed the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt due to a lack of communication and rising tensions with their Egyptian counterparts. The Independent and Reuters report that in continuing antigovernment protests in Syria, 31 people died in the northwest town of Jisr al-Shughor, as security forces cracked down on the protesters.

Over the weekend, the papers reported on the developments that took place on Sunday along the Israel-Syria border as Palestinian protesters from Syria attempted to approach the Israeli border. In other news, the Financial Times reported that the US and its allies plan to apply pressure on Iran’s nuclear programme at the United Nations, calling on the international organisation to draw some conclusions over Iran’s persistent efforts to develop its nuclear capabilities.

In the Israeli press, all papers note that IDF troops in northern Israel are on alert again today in anticipation of further Naksa Day protests from Syria and attempts to infiltrate the border. The papers all report on clashes that took place yesterday between the IDF and Palestinians, which, according to Syrian sources, resulted in 20 deaths and over 200 injuries. Haaretz notes that residents in the Druze town of Majdal Shams were unhappy about the Syrian infiltration attempts that caused a loss of business and tourism to the village. The Jerusalem Post notes that several residents of Majdal Shams said that it was known that the Syrian regime was behind the activities and were deliberately exploiting the Palestinians to divert attention from the regime’s crackdown-taking place in Syria. The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz note that the Arava Power Company yesterday launched Israel’s first solar power field and announced a plan to bring 400 megawatts worth of solar development to southern Israel. Haaretz notes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday that if Hamas wants to show its seriousness for peace talks then it must release captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.