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Newspaper review: Gaza conflict features on many front pages

Sunday newspapers

Events in Gaza lead many of Sunday's newspaper commentators to express a certain weariness at what is seen by many as an inevitable slide towards war.

The Sunday Times says the conflict in the Middle East is always with us. The paper concludes that, in the sadly familiar cycle of tit-for-tat strikes between militant Palestinian groups and Israel, the temptation has always been to give war a chance.

The Observer laments what it regards as a "tragic failure of political imagination" to resolve this and other conflicts in the region.

The Sunday Mirror columnist Mark Austin believes we are edging towards a repeat of the Israeli invasion of 2008, only this time he warns that the stakes are much higher and the results highly unpredictable.

A 42-year-old radio producer in Gaza City tells the Mail on Sunday how life there has become a nightmare for him and his family. He tells the paper the streets are almost deserted except for those rushing out to buy food and other essentials.

The Sunday Express describes what it calls "Israel's rocket terror" and how sirens echoing around Tel Aviv sent people running for cover as Palestinian militants fired a missile which was intercepted.

'Wizard of Oz'

Elsewhere, both the Times and the Mail lead on David Cameron's decision to enlist the services of the election strategist, Lynton Crosby.

The Times says the hope in Downing Street is that Mr Crosby - known in political circles as the "Wizard of Oz" - will revive Tory fortunes after the party's defeat in the Corby by-election.

The Mail refers to him as an "attack dingo", adding that if Mr Crosby is known for one thing, it is winning elections for right-wing political leaders by ruthlessly playing the immigration card.

The Independent is among several papers to look ahead to the European Union summit in Brussels this week and what it calls a "looming storm" for Mr Cameron over the new EU budget.

The Observer believes the prime minister is facing "a mission impossible" after more than 50 Conservative MPs defied the party leadership last month and backed a cut in EU spending.

Shift in tone

Ed Miliband has given an interview to the Sunday Telegraph which the paper says marks a "major change in rhetoric" on Europe from that of past Labour leaders.

Mr Miliband calls for major reforms of the European Union to make it work for Britain and says arguments advanced by Eurosceptics should not always be dismissed.

The Times reports that the number of Twitter-users - who face being sued by Lord McAlpine after wrongly linking him to child abuse allegations - is now in the thousands.

Lawyers have told the paper that the case could potentially involve the largest number of defendants in British legal history.

Finally, the Telegraph tells a story of epic journeys and enduring love between a pair of penguins from Argentina. According to the paper they have been found to be among the most faithful of couples in the animal kingdom.

A study has discovered that despite long periods apart during their 16-year relationship, the Magellenic penguins have returned to the same nest, and to each other, to produce a new brood of chicks.

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