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Media Summary

Syria threatens rockets on Israel if attacked

The main item of Israel-related coverage in the UK media today is the ongoing repression of protests in Syria, and a failure to pass a UNSC resolution against the Damascus regime. The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Reuters, Scotsman and the Financial Times have coverage of the latest events in Syria. In other items, BBC Online notes criticism of the US Congress’s decision to freeze $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority. The Evening Standard has a letter from a barrister on whether the police are wrong to charge 70 individuals who took part in a violent London protest against Israeli policy in Gaza with violent disorder. The Independent notes efforts by the US Administration to un-freeze US funds to the PA frozen by Congress. The paper has an additional piece on the ‘pro-Israel bias’ of Congress. The Times has an editorial on the scheduled meeting between Foreign Secretary William Hague and Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni tomorrow, noting that that the meeting required legal reform for which the British Government deserves credit.

The print edition of Israel Hayom today notes a meeting yesterday between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives of protesting junior doctors in Israel. The Jerusalem Post print edition notes that the Council of Europe has granted the Palestine Liberation Organisation ‘partner for democracy’ status. The paper’s front page also notes that the IDF have boosted security around Eilat. Haaretz front page focuses on an Israeli court’s upcoming decision as to whether membership in the extremist Ultra-Orthodox ‘Lev Tahor’ group is legal.

In the Israeli media, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post and Ynetnews note the failure of the UNSC to pass a sanctions resolution against Syria. Haaretz has additional pieces on the accosting of US diplomats in Ramallah by a group of Palestinian protestors yesterday, and, together with the Jerusalem Post and Maariv, the dismissal of a senior official at the Israeli embassy in Washington for leaking sensitive information. Maariv also note that Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon had a secret channel of dialogue with Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian official.

The Jerusalem Post and Ynetnews note Iranian criticism of Turkey for allowing the placement on Turkish soil of a NATO radar system. Ynetnews also quotes an alleged threat made by Syrian President Assad to attack Israel. Israel Hayom quotes former Mossad chief Meir Dagan who contends that the chance of war in the Middle East is small, and the paper also notes police concerns in Israel at fears of reprisals after a mosque was torched in northern Israel earlier this week.