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Media Summary

UK urges Iran to return to the JCPOA nuclear deal

The BBC reports that the UK has urged Iran to back a deal that would revive the JCPOA nuclear agreement during a meeting in London. Talks are set to resume in Vienna on 29 November after a four-month hiatus. Ahead of those talks, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and lead negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, visited the to set out his country’s demands. The Guardian reports that Iran requires a commitment that the US will not again leave the nuclear deal signed with world powers in 2015. In the TelegraphTom Harris and Lord Ian Austin pen op-eds about the events outside LSE university on Tuesday evening after Israeli Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely spoke. Harris argues that the thuggish abuse of the Israeli ambassador proves that the hard Left has lost the argument. Lord Austin writes that the treatment of the Israeli Ambassador at the LSE shows that activists are turning universities into incubators of illiberalism. The Financial Times notes that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman imprisoned by Tehran since 2016, is set to remain in detention after negotiations between UK and Iranian officials failed to agree the terms of her release. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, who is currently on day 20 of a hunger strike outside the Foreign Office, described his recent meeting with Cleverly as “depressing”. He added he had been left “a little bit more deflated today than I was this time yesterday”. The Independent reports from inside the ‘deadliest place on earth’: Murders surge in Syrian refugee camp stalked by ISIS. The now infamous tent city, called al-Hol, is home to nearly 60,000 Syrians and foreigners, including family members of ISIS fighters, adherents of the group, or people who fled the collapse of the caliphate almost three years ago. Violence there has reached unprecedented levels: at least 81 people camp officials say have been killed to date in 2021. Reuters writes that the United Arab Emirates will host the COP28 international climate conference in 2023. “We will put all our capabilities to make the conference a success. The UAE will remain committed to global climate action to protect the planet,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the prime minister of the UAE. The BBC visits a protest camp in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. The camp, almost a month old now, sprang up after Iraq’s parliamentary election on 10 October, and it is manned by supporters of the Fatah alliance representing Iran-backed Shia Muslim militias, who say they do not trust the results. Fatah’s loss of two-thirds of its seats. “The street is lined with tents – some of them old plastic ones left behind by aid agencies, others roughly formed by throwing colourful sheets over makeshift frames. They are filled with people laid out on blankets and grubby mattresses. Some sleep, some smoke shishas. All of them are waiting.” The Times notes that the Taliban has taken control of the last outpost of areas left alone by the insurgent group. Sandwiched between the peaks of Tajikistan to the north and Pakistan’s Hindukush and Karakoram to the south, the remote cul-de-sac had largely been left alone by the Taliban, until now. “Once a haven from the country’s chaos, remote villages are feeling the impact of the Western withdrawal.” In Yediot Ahronot reviews the six months since Operation Guardian of the Walls by military correspondent, Yossi Yehoshua. He writes: “From an operational standpoint, it is clear that more could have been achieved. The ‘Blue Lightening’ attack on the Gaza ‘metro’ failed… fewer than 100 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in the entire operation… intelligence officials failed to correctly anticipate Hamas plans …  but if we look at the six months since the operation concluded, we see that the aftermath of Operation Guardian of the Walls has been the quietest post-war period of any of Israel’s flare-ups with Gaza in recent years.” He concludes: “Both sides have an interest to keep matters quiet for the moment. Hamas is in a rebuilding stage and trying to replenish its supply of rockets. It is also trying to draft new plans of attack because all their attack plans failed during Operation Guardian of the Walls … from the IDF perspective, the current challenge is to rebuild the bank of targets. Without quality targets like the Gaza metro that they squandered, there is no reason to launch an operation.” Maariv leads with Justice Minister Gideon Saar’s bill to set a cap on a prime minister’s term, which he will put to a vote next week in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. The bill enjoys broad support in the coalition, as well as from the Joint List. On the other side, MK Moshe Arbel (Shas) said, “this is patronising legislation, which seeks to curtail the citizen’s right to elect and to be elected and to decide for them what is best for them”. He said that he would vote against the bill. The bill, if passed into law, will not apply retroactively. In the case of Opposition Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, it would not apply to the years he has already served as prime minister. Serving as alternate prime minister would not be considered as serving as prime minister, according to the bill. Saar said, “overly long terms lead to power centralisation and a risk of corruption”. Also in Maariv, Israeli cyber company NSO, which was blacklisted by the US Department of Commerce, has asked the government to help in getting the sanctions lifted. The Palestinian Authority reported yesterday that NSO spyware had been found in the phones of three senior Palestinian officials and accused Israel of using the Pegasus software to wiretap them. This is the first time that Palestinian officials have accused Israel of using NSO software to spy on them, after it was reported a few days ago that the software had been found in the phones of six Palestinian activists.In Haaretz, Gideon Levy publishes a commentary about his time at Sara Netanyahu’s birthday party. He writes: “Those who despise Benjamin Netanyahu will say that it was just another evening of cult worship, sycophancy, and cozening. But the truth is, it was a pleasant, interesting, at times even moving evening. At this point, most Haaretz readers have lost their cool. The man fills the space around him. He is more intriguing than any current Israeli politician, even now, seemingly in the winter of his career. It is easier to comprehend the blind admiration toward him than the elemental hatred he inspires.” New data from the Israel Police published in Israel Hayom shows that crime rates are rampant with illegal migrants, with many continuing to commit crimes after being released. “This isn’t normal. The country is losing control over them,” a law enforcement official said. “It’s not normal that there are illegal residents with over 40 case files against them in a year and a half.” According to the figures, in the past 19 months, police have opened 7,150 criminal cases against 1,531 illegal migrants. Estimates from the Interior Ministry’s Population Registry puts the number of adult illegals residing in Israel at approximately 30,000 – meaning that 5.3 per cent of adult illegal migrants have been the subject of a criminal complaint in the past 19 months. Kan Radio reports that the Health Ministry is considering extending the waiting period between the first and second vaccination shots from three weeks to three months. The ministry’s vaccinations committee will hold deliberations on the matter next week. Prof. Zachi Grossman, chairman of the Israel Paediatric Association, said research has shown that allowing the body to recuperate from the initial vaccine shot causes it to produce more antibodies. The campaign to vaccinate children is due to begin within the next two weeks. 391 new cases of the coronavirus were reported in Israel on Thursday, with 149 patients in serious condition. Of those infected, 101 were on ventilators.