Media Summary

The Times, The Daily Mail, Reuters and The Telegraph report that Hamas and its allies staged fierce resistance to Israel’s advances in Gaza on Sunday night and threatened that all remaining hostages would be killed if negotiations did not resume for their future.


The Times, The Daily Mail, Reuters and The Telegraph report that Hamas and its allies staged fierce resistance to Israel’s advances in Gaza on Sunday night and threatened that all remaining hostages would be killed if negotiations did not resume for their future. Battles continued in two areas of northern Gaza more than six weeks after the tanks first rolled in. Residents said the Israel Defence Forces had reached the centre of Khan Yunis, the main Hamas stronghold in the south, but Israeli officials are making clear that they believe defeating the militant group will take longer than many hope, including the Biden administration.

The Telegraph reports that a Kremlin “doppelganger” campaign using mocked-up versions of real news sites to issue false reports is stoking global tensions over the war in Gaza, experts have said. Articles which mimic the layout of established news sites to spread anti-Western disinformation.

The Telegraph also reports that Lord Cameron has threatened to shut down SNP ministers’ ‘mini-embassies’ abroad after Humza Yousaf held face-to-face talks about the Gaza crisis with President Erdogan of Turkey.

The Independent, The Telegraph, Sky News and The Guardian report that two girls aged 13 and 14 have been arrested after a Jewish woman was violently robbed in Stamford Hill, north London, in what police are saying is a possible hate crime. They have been taken into custody following an incident that saw attackers ‘joke about the victim being dead’.

Sky News reports on Hamas’ extensive tunnel network: “The ‘Gaza metro’ is bigger in scale than the London Underground network. Many of the tunnels were originally dug in the early 1980s to bypass the border between Egypt and Rafah, enabling the illegal smuggling of trade and weapons. However, they have since been expanded into two further categories: defensive and offensive.”

Sky News also releases a short video interview with Rami Shmuel, one of the organisers of the festival in Israel, which was attacked by Hamas on 7 October. Israeli police say at least 360 people were murdered -alongside mass sexual violence. Sky News also publishes an article on this interview.

The Financial Times reports that Israel’s national security adviser has warned that Israel “can no longer accept” the presence of Hezbollah forces on its northern border and said it will have to “act” if they continue to pose a threat. Tensions between Israel and the powerful Iran-backed Lebanese militant group have been running high since the war between Israel and Hamas erupted two months ago, with repeated bouts of cross-border fire.

The Financial Times also reports that the Palestinian Authority is working with US officials on a plan to run Gaza once the war between Israel and Hamas is over, the Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has said. Shtayyeh said he did not think Israel could destroy Hamas and that his preferred solution was for Hamas to become a junior partner in the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and help build an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. “If [Hamas] are ready to come to an agreement and accept the political platform of the PLO, then there will be room for talk. Palestinians should not be divided,” Shtayyeh said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The Financial Times also publishes a long read: “It was a riveting image: the presidents of three of the world’s most elite universities — Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — seated together at a witness table. All were women; one black and one Jewish. They were the star witnesses at a congressional hearing on campus antisemitism. Within days, one of them would be forced from office and the others would be clinging to their jobs.”

The Guardian reports that the Biden administration’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza has come under intensified scrutiny after it revealed it had bypassed Congress to supply tank shells and was reported not to be carrying out continual assessments of whether Israel was committing possible war crimes.

The Daily Mail reports that Labour stepped up its criticism of Israel yesterday over its response to the Hamas terror attack of October 7. Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said that the damage done over the past two months in Gaza was ‘intolerable’ and attacked two far-right Israeli cabinet ministers for ‘totally unacceptable’ support of illegal settlements in the West Bank.

The Daily Mail also reports that police are searching for pro-Palestine demonstrators who were caught on camera carrying offensive placards during a rally in central London yesterday. Tens of thousands of protesters flooded the capital for the ninth weekend in a row yesterday, marching from the Bank of England to Parliament Square, as they demanded a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Thirteen people have already been arrested with the majority having been detained in connection to offensive placards.

The Daily Mail also reports that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken commented on the horrifying nature of Hamas’ sexual violence against innocent Israelis on October 7. During a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Blinken discussed the reasons some global organisations, countries, and leaders took an inordinate amount of time to acknowledge and condemn the atrocious sexual violence of the terrorist group.

The Economist publishes a piece saying: “It has been nine weeks since Israel began bombarding the Gaza Strip and six since it sent in ground forces. Some 18,000 Gazans, mostly civilians, have died. But Israel has so far failed to achieve its main objective of destroying the military capabilities of Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules Gaza and, in a terrorist attack on October 7th, murdered 1,200 Israelis and took 240 people hostage. It increasingly looks as though the IDF have just weeks to finish the job before America, Israel’s vital ally, withdraws support for the offensive. Success looks unlikely.”

The Economist also publishes an article on the need for a peace process and what it may look like: “If you want to understand how desperately Israelis and Palestinians need peace, consider what would become of them in a state of perpetual war. Against a vastly superior Israeli army, the Palestinians’ most powerful weapon would remain the death and suffering of their own people. Israel’s fate would be woeful, too, if it wants to be a flourishing, modern democracy. If Israel permanently relies on its army to subjugate the Palestinians, it would become an apartheid-enforcing pariah. Israelis carrying out daily acts of oppression punctuated by rounds of killing would themselves be corrupted. For two peoples locked in a violent embrace, peace is the only deliverance.”

Yediot Ahronot’s Nahum Barnea says that “It is problematic having the war prosecuted by the same people who are responsible for the failures. I hope with all my heart that they are all acting clear-mindedly.” Barnea focusses particularly on National Security Council Director Tzahi Hanegbi and IDF Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva. Barnea is also critical of some of the optics of Israeli conduct in the war, especially images of “hundreds of Gazan men being led through the destroyed streets of Sajaiya in their underwear” and “a bulldozed Palestine Square with a large Hanukkah Menorah and an Israeli flag at its centre.” Of the latter, he says that some Israelis have “forgotten that the IDF hasn’t gone into Gaza with the goal of occupying it. If the Israeli flag is still flying over Palestine Square in another few months’ time that will be a sign that we’re stuck with a very big problem.”

Of the images of captured men in their underwear, Kan Radio quotes Hanegbi saying that such conduct should stop. “From an operational aspect,” he said, “it is crucial [to ensure] that they are not wearing bomb belts or other things. And I hope that there will be many more pictures of people surrendering without fighting and handing over their weapons. They will be checked but then will get dressed and should not be taken [prisoner] in the manner seen in the pictures.”

Israel Hayom’s Yoav Limor foresees a scenario whereby “troops will withdraw before Hamas has been defeated and before all the hostages have been freed—which are the operation’s two central objectives. On the other hand, prolonging the operation without Washington’s consent would mean a major crisis in relations with the Biden administration, which has given Israel complete and full diplomatic-military-economic support. Doing so,” Limor says, “would have far-reaching repercussions on Israel’s relations with Europe and the moderate Sunni states, and might end up producing motions to impose sanctions against Israel in international theatres.” Limor also sees tension between Israel and the US on the question of Hezbollah. “It is clear to Israel,” he says, “that there can be no return to normal in northern Israel and that the residents will not be able to return to their homes unless Hizbullah is first repelled from the border fence. The preferred way to achieve that is by means of an agreement, but the chances of that are very slim despite the efforts being made by the American envoy, Amos Hochstein. Israel is cooperating with this effort, among other reasons, in order to gain international legitimacy that will enable it to use force if that becomes necessary, but Jerusalem also remembers Biden’s explicit warning that he succinctly put in one word—don’t—in which he called on both sides to refrain from war.”

Haaretz features Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking with Russian President Putin on Sunday and expressing his anger at “anti-Israel positions” taken by Moscow’s envoys at the UN. Netanyahu also voiced “robust disapproval” of Russia’s “dangerous” cooperation with Iran. “Over the past weeks,” writes the paper, “Putin has been devoting a substantial amount of attention to the Middle East. Last week, he visited the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the first visit that exceeds the Russian border since the international warrant against him issued by The Hague’s Criminal Court. He then hosted the crown prince of Oman and the Iranian Prime Minister Ibrahim Raisi,” while “at the end of October, a Hamas delegation led by the deputy head of the terror organization’s political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk, was hosted in Moscow. Russia defended its decision to host the delegation, saying it was necessary to maintain contacts with all sides in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.”

Ynet includes the Mossad confirming that it cooperated with Cypriot authorities in thwarting an Iranian terrorist cell that planned to carry out attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in Cyprus in recent days. “Thanks to the anti-terrorist activity and the arrest of the cell by the security services in Cyprus,” it said, “a lot of information was received that led to the exposure of the threats, the methods of operation, the targets of the attack and the Iranian plan to cause the killing of innocents in Cyprus and in other arenas.” Two Iranians are thought to have been apprehended, with Iran having a history of using Turkish northern Cyprus to enable assets to move into the southern part of the island to attempt attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets.

In Yediot Ahronot, Itamar Eichner and Gad Lior report the US sending a multinational maritime force to the region to help combat the threat from the Yemeni Houthis, who have launched a series of attacks against both Israel and US targets since October 7th. The US move came after the Houthis announced their intention to stop any ship en route to Israel via the Red Sea, tantamount to declaring a maritime blockade on Israel.

Ynet reports Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen meeting with Argentina’s controversial new President Javier Milei ahead of his inauguration yesterday. Milei also met with dual national Israeli-Argentinians with relatives taken hostage by Hamas, including members of the Bibas family. He promised Argentina’s “absolute solidarity with the people of Israel following the acts of terror perpetrated by the Hamas terrorist organisation. We strongly condemn them. I support Israel’s full right to defend itself against those terrorist attacks. In addition, we are examining the possibility of declaring Hamas a terrorist organisation in Argentina.”