HA’ARETZ 1. Election atmosphere heating up; Netanyahu in the running, Barak suggests “uniting around Peres’ candidacy.” NETANYAHU: “SHARON IS DESTROYING THE LIKUD.” Netanyahu on Sharon: Today, country needs leader to stop the corruption; we can’t become baksheesh nation. Sharon on Netanyahu: Netanyahu continues to disseminate lies – he forgets that he received a strong party and left it with only 19 seats. Sharon’s plans: Sharon supporters – PM to fight decision to convene [Likud] Central Committee and will enlist ministers against ouster. The rebels: Rebel MKs who went with Landau go over to Netanyahu; Landau left with Moshe Cahlon. 2. DEFENSE MINISTRY DIRECTOR-GENERAL TO RETIRE IN SEPTEMBER. After six years on job and against of crisis of confidence with US, Amos Yaron informed DM Mofaz that he is going home. HATZOFEH 1. Scent of elections – Barak calls to support Peres. NETANYAHU: SHARON FLED FROM HIS VOTERS. Former PM announced that he would compete for Likud leadership and premiership. At press conference that seemed like election rally, Netanyahu sat next to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, former minister Natan Sharansky, David Levy, Yuli Edelstein and half of Likud rebel MKs. MK Rabbi Yitzhak Levy tables bill calling for dissolution of Knesset. 2. TOMORROW ON MT. OF OLIVES: MAIN BURIAL CEREMONY FOR THOSE EXHUMED IN GUSH KATIF. 3. IN CONTRAVENTION OF WRITTEN AGREEMENT: DEFENSE MINISTRY DEMOLISHES MOBILE STRUCTURES IN NETZARIM THAT IT HAD PROMISED TO EVACUATE. 4. DEFENSE MINISTRY DIRECTOR-GENERAL RESIGNS AGAINST BACKGROUND OF DISAGREEMENT WITH US. MA’ARIV 1. Ma’ariv poll: Most [Likud] Central Committee members favor ousting Sharon. LIKUD WAR. Sharon starts holding against Netanyahu. Considers calling quick election. 2. RECONCILIATION IN LABOR. Ehud Barak surprised party rivals yesterday when proposed to unite around Shimon Peres. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. Washington: We have cogent proof that Syrian President is responsible for assassination of former Lebanese PM Hariri. US: WE WILL ACT TOWARDS BASHAR’S OUSTER. Soon: Sanctions against Assad. Americans: We will turn him into international pariah. 2. Last night: Yediot Ahronot-Mina Tzemah/Dahaf poll – Who is better suited to be PM? SHARON: 54%, NETANYAHU: 21%. Netanyahu, in candidacy statement: Sharon has abandoned Likud and chosen the left. Sharon’s advisers: He left Likud with 19 mandates and fled to America. Labor: Barak calls for unity around Peres. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Both papers comment on various issues related to the political situation: Hatzofeh calls for the entire right-wing to put aside, “prestige and honor games,” and unite in a single Knesset list that would, inter alia, “not allow Netanyahu to use the kind of ‘tricks’ that Ariel Sharon has.” Yediot Ahronot says that Benjamin Netanyahu’s appearance yesterday proved the old adage that, “A politician’s best weapon is the voters’ short memory,” and believes that he would take the Likud sharply rightward and, “drag all of us into unnecessary struggles.” The editors believe that, “The current political situation attests to the poverty of the Labor Party,” and ventures that, “If the Labor Party had worthy leaders, it could now win the entire pot but it does not have anyone who could enthuse the public and sweep it to victory. Actually, it has a ready leader: Ariel Sharon.” __________ Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, calls for the law enforcement authorities to be as generous and as forgiving as possible towards those have either been charged or are under investigation following the disengagement. The editors call for reconciliation, compromise and healing. Yediot Ahronot, in its third editorial, suggests that all of Israel’s leading politicians, “are members of the Israeli Association of Those Who Speak the Truth.” BPI-info