Media Summary

Trump unlikely to certify Iran nuclear deal

The Financial Times reports that US President Donald Trump is unlikely certify a landmark nuclear deal with Iran for the second time, according to senior administration officials. One official also remarked that President Trump had yet to decide whether to continue to waive nuclear sanctions which also require a decision next week.

BBC News Online reports on why the US Jerusalem announcement has remained popular with Christian Evangelicals. The story includes quotes from multiple sources in academia and the Christian Evangelical clergy.

BBC News Online reports that the US has imposed sanctions on five Iranian companies it says are contributing to the country’s ballistic missile programme. The sanctions freeze any property the companies hold in the US, and prohibit Americans from dealing with them. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin linked the move to the recent protests sparked by Iran’s economic problems. “We will not hesitate to call out the regime’s economic mismanagement,” he said in a statement. “These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile programme, which the Iranian regime prioritises over the economic well-being of the Iranian people”.

The Independent reports on the death of a Palestinian protestor who was shot and later died near Ramallah in the West Bank yesterday. Musab Firas al-Tamimi is believed to be the first Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in 2018. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement the teenager was taking part in a “violent riot” in Deir Nidham, around 14 miles northwest of Ramallah, that involved “dozens” of Palestinians. The IDF said soldiers saw a rioter that appeared to be armed with a gun and “in response to the threat, forces shot towards the rioter,” it said, adding that the incident was “being reviewed”.

The Telegraph reports the story featured in yesterday’s Daily Mail about the complaint by the UK Lawyers for Israel group against the BBC regarding the BBC series McMafia. The group released a statement about the portrayal of Semiyon Kleiman, a disreputable Israeli businessman and politician and misquoting the motto of the Israeli security agency, Mossad.

The Daily Mail via AFP reports that the IDF said it was opening an investigation into the death of a wheelchair-bound Gazan man, with Palestinian officials saying he was shot by a sniper during clashes with Israeli forces. The IDF said “As stated previously, the IDF’s operational review concluded that no live fire was aimed at Abu Thurayeh. Based on the information gathered during the review, it was not possible to determine whether Abu Thurayeh was injured as a result of riot dispersal means or what caused his death. In order to further examine the case, including information received from organisations operating in the Gaza Strip, it was decided that the circumstances of (Abu) Thurayeh’s death will also be examined by a military police investigation”.

The Daily Mail via Reuters reports that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries reached agreement with Israel’s Histadrut labour federation on Thursday to award preferential severance packages to company administrative staff taking voluntary redundancy, according to a joint statement. The move is part of a global restructuring by the world’s largest generic drug maker in which it plans to cut more than a quarter of its workforce, or approximately 14,000 jobs.

Yediot Ahronot and Haaretz focus on security tension in the south.  According to Palestinian sources, the latest Israeli Air Force (IAF) target on Wednesday night was another underground tunnel heading into Israel, the third tunnel to be demolished by Israeli forces in recent months. Israeli officials confirmed that the mortar fire aimed at Israeli territory last Friday, apparently targeted a ceremony in honour of fallen IDF soldier Oron Shaul, was carried out by Islamic Jihad, allegedly after it had been instructed by Iran to spark an escalation with Israel.

Maariv presents statistics on attacks against Israelis in the past year, noting that there was a 50 per cent decrease in stone throwing and firebomb attacks in 2017. Throughout the past year, 14 shooting, stabbing and vehicle ramming attacks were recorded. The report states that in the past month, since President Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, the number of violent disturbances has increased, but no shooting, stabbing or ramming attacks were carried out.

Yediot Ahronot reports on the clash between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Shin Bet director Yoram Cohen, after Cohen revealed yesterday that the decision to assign permanent bodyguards to the Prime Minister’s sons, Yair and Avner, was made contrary to the Shin Bet’s recommendation.  The Prime Minister’s Office issued a sharply-worded response against Cohen, that there was a need to tighten security arrangements for them. For example, websites connected to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard portrayed the Prime Minister’s sons within crosshairs as targets marked explicitly for assassination.

Yediot Ahronot notes that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama have mourned the passing of Aharon Appelfeld, a prolific Israeli novelist and Holocaust survivor whose works examined the lost world of European Jews and the new lives they pursued in Israel. He died on Thursday aged  85.  Appelfeld’s “Blooms of Darkness”, the tale of an 11-year-old boy hidden from the Nazis by a prostitute, won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2012. Appelfeld was also awarded the Israel Prize for Literature in 1983 and was a Man Booker International Prize finalist in 2013.

Maariv reveals the latest allegations into gifts received by Prime Minister Netanyahu.  The paper claims, American Jewish real estate mogul Spencer Partrich gave the Prime Minister Italian designer suits by Brioni.

Kan Radio News reports that Nour Tamimi, the young woman filmed assaulting soldiers in the village of Nabi Saleh with her cousin Ahed, was released from custody last night. The military court indicted Nour Tamimi this week for aggravated assault and disturbing a soldier who was performing his duties. Ahed Tamimi was also indicted and remains in custody.