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Media Summary

US re-designates its diplomatic mission to the Palestinians

BBC Arabic investigation has uncovered allegations that Qatar is under-reporting the number of migrant workers who have died of heat stroke. Temperatures that go above 50C, thanks to climate change, can leave workers with life-altering illnesses including heart failure.

The US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem has been re-designated and will report directly to Washington “on substantive matters”, says the Guardian indicating an upgrade in ties before a planned visit by US President Joe Biden.

The Telegraph publishes an obituary for Shireen Abu Aqla, describing her as “a trailblasing Al Jazeera reporter, one of the first female Arab war correspondents, who became a household name across the Middle East as ‘the voice of Palestine’”.

Hezbollah can stop Israeli gas extraction from disputed field its leader said last night, reported by Reuters.

The Guardian reports that new research produced by ‘AirPressure.info’ demonstrates how pervasive Israeli jets and drones have been in Lebanese airspace, with at least 22,000 overflights being documented in the past 15 years alone. Few of the incursions are brief, with many lasting an average of four hours and 35 minutes. And most involve the most technically advanced fighter planes or surveillance aircraft in the world that basic Lebanese ground defences offer no match for.

The Financial TimesReutersIndependent and BBC follow the new standoff between Iran and the global nuclear watchdog. Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) it is removing 27 surveillance cameras from its nuclear facilities. It comes after the IAEA’s board censured Iran for not answering questions about uranium traces found at three undeclared sites.

All the Israeli media continues to cover the coalition crisis. Kan Radio reports that Prime Minister Bennett held a meeting in his Tel Aviv office last night with fellow Yamina MK Nir Orbach. Afterwards they issued a joint statement that the meeting had been good and that they had scheduled another meeting for Sunday morning. Orbach reportedly has decided not to stay in the coalition in its current makeup and will quit the coalition and reach agreements with the Likud if nothing changes in the next few days. Before the meeting Orbach told his associates that he would give the prime minister another chance, but not more than a few days. According to Yediot Ahronot, Orbach has decided to quit the coalition, but is willing to wait a week to see if it can still function. The coalition is hoping that one of the two rebels MKs from the United Arab List and Meretz will resign from the Knesset, enabling the coalition to function again.

Maariv suggest that now an absolute majority of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inner circle supports holding early elections instead of trying to form an alternative government in the current Knesset. Maariv also notes that the Movement for Quality Government asked Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara yesterday to launch a criminal investigation against Yamina MK Idit Silman, who left the coalition two months ago, on suspicion of committing the offence of extortion with threats. Earlier this week she allegedly threatened to release information about Orbach (who chairs the Knesset House Committee) if he took steps to have her declared a renegade.

Israel Hayom speculates that Zeev Elkin, the housing minister is also keen quit the government and be appointed chairman of the Jewish Agency. The appointment was postponed several times and is now scheduled for early July. Sources who spoke to Elkin said that the reason is because “he realises that it’s over”. According to the paper he has discussed it with Prime Minister Bennett and some ministers, including Yair Lapid and Gideon Saar. His departure would set off a round of political appointments. The Housing Ministry would probably go to MK Sharren Haskel, the Jerusalem affairs portfolio to Elazar Stern, and intelligence affairs to MK Eli Avidar, but these appointments will not be able to go through if they have no majority in the Knesset, just as Matan Kahana was not confirmed as religious services minister. It is therefore unclear whether Elkin will be able to do this.

Maariv includes a new poll. If elections were held today, the Likud receives: 34 seats, Yesh Atid: 21, Religious Zionist Party: 11, Blue and White: 8, Shas: 8, United Torah Judaism: 7, Joint List: 7, Labour: 6, Yamina: 5, Yisrael Beiteinu: 5, New Hope: 4, United Arab List: 4. According to this poll Meretz does not cross the electoral threshold. In terms of blocs, the current right-wing opposition has 60, the coalition 53, with the Joint List on 7.

In the commentary in Yediot Ahronot, Sima Kadmon reflects: “This was a bad week for the Bennett government. However, it wasn’t the opposition that made it so, but rather the coalition, whose conduct since the start of the session has been an example of self-destructive urges. The short-term consequences are known, but the tragedy actually lies in the long-term ones. After the government falls apart, no one will be able to trust an Arab party to cooperate in a coalition. It will spread beyond that, because when an MK from Meretz, a Jewish party with a pragmatic approach, does what Zoabi did and keeps holding on to the seat that she has no mandate to keep, who will have confidence in Arab MKs? Zoabi and Ghanaim will be remembered forever as having acted against the interests of their public and for substantially undermining Jewish-Arab relations. This is a tragedy, because (Mansour) Abbas’s concept was right: to be partners in making decisions relative to the political power that he was given. Yet with time, it turned out that he was the only one of the Arab MKs who had a genuine commitment, endurance, and public and personal courage.”

All the media note the annual Pride Parade will take place today in Tel Aviv. There will be a large march through the centre of town culminating in Ganei Yehoshua Park, where there will be a huge party until the evening. Police are anticipating around 100,000 people will participate.

Haaretz notes that Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi is marking his year’s anniversary in power. The paper recalls that when he took office he promised to “lift sanctions, curb the housing crisis, stamp out corruption, cut the unemployment rate and restore economic stability in a country with an inflation rate hovering around 40 percent”. However, “Food prices skyrocketed across Iran last month after the government cut subsidies for staples like eggs and dairy products, sparking street protests. And a revived nuclear deal … which would lead to sanctions relief and alleviate some of Iran’s economic woes, shows no sign of materialising after US President Joe Biden refused to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from a terror blacklist.”

Several papers report that Israelis with tickets will be allowed to travel to Qatar for the World Cup, even though Israel has no diplomatic relations with Gulf state. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is quoted saying, “We are bringing forth another diplomatic achievement which will gladden the hearts of soccer fans. A love of soccer and sport unites people and countries, and the World Cup games in November have opened the gate for new and warm relations.”

Israel Hayom reports that the chairman Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial Dani Dayan met with Pope Francis in the Vatican yesterday. Afterwards Dayan said he thanked the Pope for agreeing to open the Vatican archives for the period of the Holocaust for their researchers, “he said very clearly that to open the archives is to make justice.” The paper notes, “Historians long clamoured for access to the Vatican archives of letters and other documents spanning the years of Pius XII’s 1939-1958 pontificate, which overlapped with World War II.”