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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Press warns Israel government
Israeli-Palestinian press

Newspapers in both Israel and Palestinian territories accuse the Israeli government of using the missing soldier Cpl Gilad Shalit as an excuse to undermine the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli commentators especially are concerned that such actions will rebound on the government of Ehud Olmert and destabilise the Middle East even more.

SHIMON SCHIFFER IN ISRAEL'S TOP CIRCULATION YEDIOT AHARONOT

What we have here is not an attempt to rescue Cpl Shalit and bring him safe to his family and not an attempt to stop the firing of the Qassam rockets but a move aimed at destroying the Hamas government in the hope that next time the Palestinians will choose a responsible government that will negotiate with Israel.

GADI TAOB IN ISRAEL'S CENTRE-RIGHT MAARIV

The danger in the military move is that it will speed up the fragmentation, promote chaos and reduce the chances of establishing a central government... Israel must reduce as much as possible the extent of the fragmentation it is causing, try not to hit the unifying forces and avoid toppling the Hamas government by military means. Pressure can force it to become moderate. Crushing pressure will only increase the number of organisations over which no-one has control.

DANNY RUBINSTEIN IN ISRAEL'S LEFT-OF-CENTRE HAARETZ

From Israel's perspective, the continued functioning of the Palestinian Authority [PA] in the West Bank and Gaza is important. The alternative to the PA is chaos or the return of total Israeli occupation. It is difficult to assume that anyone in Israel wants this, because the security and diplomatic damage to the country in such a case would be grave indeed. Therefore, there is no alternative but to enter into negotiations immediately, with whatever degree of toughness is required, on the quid pro quo for the release of Gilad Shalit. There are many disadvantages to such negotiations, but the alternative is harsher and far more dangerous - both to the soldier's fate and to Israel's diplomatic and national interests.

HAGAY HUBERMAN IN ISRAEL'S NATIONAL RELIGIOUS PARTY AFFILIATE HATZOFE

This is the sad truth: The objective of the operation is clear to no-one - not the government, not the prime minister, not the IDF with all its commanders. No-one tried to think 20 steps ahead. When an operation is called a 'rolling operation' they mean that the operation continues to roll independently and then we will all see where it leads. The leaders of the country have no advanced planning as to where it will lead.

HAFITH AL-BARGHUTHI IN THE PALESTINIAN AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

No-one wants the Palestinian Authority to be strong. The occupation has worked to destroy it so that it will become a name empty of any content. The government is besieged and has not been able to find a way out of this crisis. We are all frustrated, angry and desperate. Beware of frustration for it might appear in the form of a violence from which there is no return.

HANI AWKAL IN THE PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

Summer Rain [the Israeli Gaza incursion] does not bear the characteristics of an operation intended to save Shalit. It seeks to impose the Israeli agenda that wants to shred to pieces the Palestinians' resistance in all its forms, stop the launching of home made rockets and undermine Palestinian attempts to prevent Palestinian factions forming a lobby that presenting a united vision.

EDITORIAL IN THE PALESTINIAN AL-QUDS

A wider Arab-Islamic move is needed to exert pressure on Israel to find a way out of the spiral and help the region avoid a wider explosion. This move is also needed to make the international community intervene to find a drastic solution that would end the illegal Israeli occupation, end the Palestinian suffering that has been going on for half a century.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.





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