Palestinians are seen to be gaining momentum in their quest for statehood. (New York Times)

The ICC says Palestinian officials have acknowledged the court's jurisdiction regarding last summer's Gaza war. (AFP)

The US is considering cutting aid to the PA over recent PLO moves. (AP)

Pres. Rivlin says he is opposed to Israel withholding Palestinian tax revenues in response to multilateral PLO initiatives. (AFP/Xinhua)

The US also strongly criticizes Israel's withholding of Palestinian tax revenues. (Ha'aretz)

Hamas denies reports that its leader, Khaled Meshaal, has been expelled from Qatar, but Israel welcomes the report. (Reuters/Times of Israel/Ha'aretz)

Hamas says it is opposed to Arabs and Muslims visiting Jerusalem. (Xinhua)

Hamas says it is "totally opposed" to any new Palestinian UN bid. (AFP)

Israel sentences a Hamas member to life imprisonment for the killing of three Israeli teenagers last summer. (BBC)

Israeli occupation forces shoot and injure a Palestinian teenager in a West Bank raid. (Ma'an)

Israel's military is divided over probes into last summer's Gaza war. (AP)

Palestinians eagerly await the performance of their Cinderella national soccer team at Asian Cup 2015. (The Guardian)

Japan and Israel are establishing closer ties. (JTA)

Hezbollah appears to acknowledge that a top official has been found to be spying for Israel. (New York Times/Times of Israel)

Clashes with ISIS extremists kill 23 government troops and allied forces in Iraq. (AP)

Kurdish fighters seize a key district in the embattled Syrian town of Kobane. (BBC)

A senior ISIS extremist is found beheaded by unknown assailants in Syria. (Ha'aretz)

Thousands of Syrians in Aleppo are trapped between ISIS and regime forces. (CNN)

There are growing signs of ISIS misrule and incompetence in the areas under its control. (Financial Times/Daily Beast)

Doctors say the West's focus on ISIS means it is ignoring the human tragedy in Syria. (Reuters)

Gunmen kill two Egyptian policeman guarding a Christian church. (AP)

France says it is ready to strike extremists on Libya's borders. (AP)

A Jordanian prince is trying to unseat FIFA chief Sepp Blatter. (AP)

Shiite rebels in Yemen are reportedly helping Sunni Al Qaeda militants. (Christian Science Monitor)


Peter Beinart responds to Dennis Ross's critique of Palestinian moves at the UN and the ICC. (Ha'aretz)

David Makovsky looks at the policy implications of the Palestinian ICC initiative. (WINEP)

Nehemia Shtrasler says Israel will pay the price for PM Netanyahu's 'management' of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. (Ha'aretz)

Adnan Abu Amer says Hamas is divided over a potential rapprochement with former Fatah leader Dahlan. (Al Monitor)

Ali Ibrahim welcomes a well-timed appeal for Jerusalem from the head of the OIC. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Amiram Barkat says Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to stop spitting on them. (Ha'aretz)

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed asks if relations can improve between Iran and Saudi Arabia. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Salman Aldossary says Saudi Arabia will not save Iran's economy. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Madawi Al-Rasheed asks if the next Saudi King will seize the opportunity for change. (Al Monitor)

The CSM says Arab and Turkish hospitality to Syrian refugees is an example to the West. (Christian Science Monitor)

The New York Times denounces Egypt's crackdown on gay men. (New York Times)

Mohamed Fadel Fahmy says Al Jazeera journalists are not Egypt's enemies. (New York Times)

The BBC looks at why ISIS' "Islamic State" is not a country at all. (BBC)

Gopal Ratnam asks what comes after ISIS is defeated. (Foreign Policy)

Rasha Al Aqeedi says Mosul was on its way to being much more conservative long before ISIS took over. (The National)

Michael Karam remembers legendary Lebanese wine-maker Serge Hochar. (The Daily Star)


Palestinian officials demand an inquiry after the killing of a Gaza teenager by Egyptian forces. (New York Times)

Israel withholds tax revenues from Palestinians and threatens lawsuits against them. (The Guardian/Reuters/AFP)

Israel threatens more punitive measures against Palestinians. (AP)

Israel's responses will not include more settlement activity. (Ha'aretz)

Israel urges the US Congress to halt aid to the PA. (Ha'aretz)

US officials say Palestinian ICC moves will have "implications" for American aid to the PA. (Reuters)

Freezing Palestinian tax revenues is a double-edged sword for Israel. (Ha'aretz)

Pres. Abbas says he may resubmit a recently defeated draft UNSC text to the Security Council. (Xinhua)

Chief PLO negotiator Erekat says Palestine will decide when to submit a new UN resolution in meeting with Arab ministers. (Ma'an)

Jordan was reportedly displeased by the Palestinian UN initiative. (Ha'aretz)

MK Tibi says Israelis should think about the ICC when they "murder Palestinian children." (YNet)

Israeli officials say they're not concerned about facing ICC charges. (Al Monitor)

Israel's Supreme Court rules against the separation wall in the historic West Bank village of Battir. (Ma'an)

Rights groups say there was an 80% increase in detentions of Palestinians by Israel in 2014. (Ma'an)

Hamas and Islamic Jihad hold a joint meeting in Gaza. (Ma'an)

Tourism to Israel sharply decreased after the Gaza war last summer. (Jerusalem Post)

Israel allows a FIFA delegation to cross into Gaza after several hours delay. (Xinhua)

The speaker of Libya's Parliament rejects foreign military intervention. (AP)

The Libyan military says it opened fire on a "suspicious" Greek tanker. (AP)

20 Egyptian Christians are kidnapped by extremists in Libya. (AP/Xinhua)

Two Saudi border guards are killed in an attack near the Iraqi border. (AP/BBC)

Reuters looks at the foreign fighters joining the battle against ISIS. (Reuters)

Lebanon says ISIS seeks bases within the country. (Reuters)

ISIS gained ground among Muslim extremists the world over in 2014. (Los Angeles Times)

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition elects a new leader. (Reuters)

The "rise and ugly fall" of a moderate Syrian rebel may offer valuable lessons for the West. (Washington Post)

Iyad Madani, secretary-general of the 57-nation OIC, visits Jerusalem and urges other Muslims to follow suit. (AP)

A Kuwaiti MP says he is facing criminal charges after supporting legalizing the sale of alcohol. (AP)

Nida Tunis asks veteran politician Habib Essid to form a new Tunisian government. (AP/Reuters)

Iran's president urges a nuclear deal with the P5+1. (Los Angeles Times)

Former U.S. Congressman Slattery is optimistic about a nuclear deal after visiting Iran. (Al Monitor)

The falling price of oil is squeezing Hezbollah's finances. (Christian Science Monitor)

Yemen's Shiite rebels reject an agreed-upon federal plan for the country. (AP)


Hussein Ibish says Palestinians desperately need a coherent national strategy. (The National)

Ha'aretz says freezing Palestinian tax revenues is a bizarre Israeli response to the PLO UN initiative. (Ha'aretz)

Aaron David Miller says Palestine's "diplomatic intifada" will fail. (Politico)

Avi Issacharoff says both sides experienced "Pyrrhic victories" at the UN. (Times of Israel)

Aaron Magid says the US must stop blaming Abbas for trying to join the ICC. (Ma'an)

Linda Heard asks if the ICC will let down the Palestinians, just as the UN has done. (Gulf News)

Dennis Ross says Palestinians should be pressured to focus on the substance, rather than symbols, of peace. (New York Times)

The Daily Star says Palestinians are right to seek new paths to independence, and should keep on doing so. (Daily Star)

The Wall Street Journal says the US should cut off aid to the PA if Palestinians try to use the ICC against Israel. (Wall Street Journal)

Oudeh Basharat says even the center-left coalition of Herzog and Livni promises a continuation of the occupation. (Ha'aretz)

Amira Hass says that in the West Bank, every flat tire tells a story. (Ha'aretz)

Theodore Sasson asks if Israel's "Jewish state" rhetoric will alienate the Jewish diaspora. (The Forward)

Bruce Riedel asks if a Saudi succession process is about to take place. (Al Monitor)

Hassan Barari says the US is too eager for a nuclear deal with Iran. (Arab News)

The Daily Star dismisses Iran's "empty promises" to the international community. (Daily Star)

Lauren Williams says ISIS has polarized Turkey. (Daily Star)

Diana Moukalled says Jordan may be ISIS' next target. (Asharq Al Awsat)


Palestinians take the first step towards joining the ICC, a move seen as confrontational. (New York Times/Reuters/AFP)

Palestinians hope to bring war crimes charges against Israelis at the ICC. (AP)

It may be difficult for Palestinians to arrange for indictments of Israelis at the ICC. (New York Times)

Palestinians have reportedly filed an early complaint against Israelis at the ICC. (Asharq Al Awsat)


Congress warns Palestinians that the ICC move may lead to a reduction in aid. (JTA)

A Palestinian is reportedly crushed to death amid 'extreme overcrowding' at a West Bank checkpoint. (Ha'aretz)

Armed Israeli settlers confront American consulate guards in the occupied West Bank. (YNet)

Former Finance Minister Yair Lapid says settlement funding is "corrupt." (AP)

Israeli soldiers critically injure a Palestinian in a shooting near Nablus. (Ma'an)

Palestinian TV plans to raise awareness of violence against women and girls. (The Guardian)

A delegation of PA unity government ministers leaves Gaza. (Ma'an)

An injured nine-year-old girl has become a symbol of the Gaza war. (The Guardian)

Experts disagree about Palestinian projections that Jews will be a minority in historic Palestine by 2016. (Jerusalem Post)

PM Netanyahu wins Likud's primary. (AP)

An Arab woman is running for Parliament in Israel on a hard-line Israeli-nationalistic ticket. (AP/Times of Israel)

Half of Israel's Jewish and Arab students want nothing to do with each other. (Ha'aretz)

India is building closer ties to Israel. (The Media Line)

Coalition jets pound ISIS' stronghold in Syria. (AP)

Kurds in Iraq launch a new offensive against ISIS. (AP)

Gunmen kill three Sunni clerics in Basra. (AP)

2014 was the bloodiest year in Iraq since 2006-07. (Reuters)

Three Al Jazeera journalists remain in prison after an Egyptian court orders a retrial in the case. (New York Times/Los Angeles Times)

The family of one of the journalists hopes Egypt will deport him. (AP)

Beirut's elegant new downtown is bereft of people. (Washington Post)

Libya's Prime Minister may be considering resignation. (Asharq Al Awsat)

The BBC looks at prospects facing new Tunisian president Essebsi. (BBC)


The New York Times says Palestinians seem to be driven by desperation. (New York Times)

Barak Ravid says Israel's troubles with the international community are just beginning. (Ha'aretz)

Alon Pinkas says Palestinians lost the diplomatic battle, but not the war. (YNet)

Yonah Jeremy Bob says Israelis may not face any prosecution at the ICC. (Jerusalem Post)

Julian Borger says ICC membership could be a double-edged sword for Palestinians. (The Guardian)

J.J. Goldberg says Israel and the Palestinians are playing a "game of chicken" at the ICC. (The Forward)

Raphael Ahren says Palestine at the ICC is a headache Israel may learn to live with. (Times of Israel)

The Times of Israel interviews Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad. (Times of Israel)

David Brooks says Netanyahu is subtly reshaping Israel. (New York Times)

Roger Cohen says Gaza is a "nowhere" that must be turned into a "somewhere." (New York Times)

Ha'aretz says Israel should not censor a Gaza war investigation. (Ha'aretz)

Zeev Sternhell says Palestinians should follow the example of David Ben-Gurion. (Ha'aretz)

Amira Hass says Palestine's recent defeat at the UNSC is a "harsh wake-up call" for Pres. Abbas. (Ha'aretz)

Yoni Ben Menachem looks at "evidence of tension between the military and political wings of Hamas." (JCPA)

H.A. Hellyer says ISIS is unlikely to gain further ground in 2015. (The National)

Wafiq Al-Samarrai says Iran's central role in the fight against ISIS in Iraq must be recognized. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed says any solution in Syria depends on getting rid of Pres. Assad. (Asharq Al Awsat)


Palestine's latest UN resolution fails to garner nine votes, which would have raised the question of a US veto, in the Security Council. (New York Times/Reuters/Los Angeles Times/BBC)

The US reconfirms its support for peace based on the 1967 borders. (Ha'aretz)

US and Israeli intervention led to the Palestinian defeat. (The Guardian)

Jewish-American groups credit Pres. Obama for engineering the defeat. (Ha'aretz)

Palestinians say Australia may have damaged its relations with the Arab world by voting against the resolution. (The Guardian)

Palestinians plan their next steps. (AP)

Some in the Palestinian leadership are reportedly urging Pres. Abbas to seek ICC membership, possibly in the next day or two. (Ha'aretz/Times of Israel)

Hamas again condemns the PLO's UN initiatives. (Ma'an)

Israel says it is "satisfied" by the UN vote, but reiterates its criticisms of the Palestinians and Europe. (AFP/Ha'aretz)

Israel's UN envoy was absent during the vote. (Ha'aretz)

An Israeli settler runs over a Palestinian child walking to school in Tuqu. (Ma'an)

Israeli settlers set a Palestinian home on fire while the family inside sleeps. (Ma'an)

Israeli police arrest suspects accused of vandalizing a Jerusalem abby. (AP)

Fatah is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary in Ramallah. (Ma'an)

US forces in Iraq are training new troops to combat ISIS, beginning in February. (New York Times)

Iran denies reports the US offered it a prisoner swap. (AP)

Russia says US sanctions may hurt talks on Syria and Iran. (AP)

International calls emerge for the release of Bahrain's leading opposition figure. (New York Times/AP)

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is admitted to hospital for tests. (AP/Xinhua)

Tunisia's new secular president, Beji Caid Essebsi, is sworn in. (Ha'aretz/BBC)

slowdown in aid from the Gulf threatens Egypt's economic recovery. (Al Monitor)


Itamar Eichner describes how the Palestinian UN draft was defeated. (YNet)

Raphael Ahren says the Palestinian defeated the UN is good news for Likud MK's. (Times of Israel)

The Daily Star says Fatah has been brought down by a "simple failure to show moral leadership and address core grievances.". (Daily Star)

Adnan Abu Amer says the rapprochement between Egypt and Qatar has rattled Hamas. (Al Monitor)

Jay Michaelson says "pinkwashing" Israel on gay rights is incredibly wrong. (The Forward)

Javier Solana says an international course correction on Syria must begin in Aleppo. (GulfNews)

Colum Lynch says fear of angering Pres. Assad has left a gap in the UN Syria relief program. (Foreign Policy)

Michael Young says Lebanon faces a familiar set of old problems. (The National)

Ali Ibrahim wants to know who's setting Libya's oil on fire. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Ali Mamouri thinks Basra may be moving towards independence. (Al Monitor)

The Gulf News says defeating extremism will be the priority in the Middle East in 2015. (GulfNews)

Alastair Sloane looks at how the war on terror became a lucrative business. (The Daily Star)

Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi sees improved Gulf relations with Egypt and Qatar as a positive sign for Arab unity. (Arab News)

Aaron David Miller lists five reasons why 2015 is going to bring positive changes to the Middle East. (Foreign Policy)

Joseph Kechichian says Middle Eastern states will survive the challenge from pseudo-states and substate actors. (Gulf News)


Arab states endorse, but the US rejects, a Palestinian draft UN resolution on statehood. (Reuters/AFP)

The US says the draft resolution fails to account for Israel's security requirements. (Ha'aretz/VOA)

The Times of Israel prints a reported version of the draft Palestinian text. (Times of Israel)

PA statisticians say Jews will be a minority in Israel and the occupied territories by 2060. (Times of Israel)

Israeli occupation forces kill a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank. (New York Times)

Israeli occupation forces shoot and injure two Palestinian teenagers driving in Beit Ummar. (Ma'an)

Israeli home demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem leave two Palestinian families homeless. (Ma'an)

Palestinian cabinet ministers hold their latest weekly session in Gaza. (Ma'an)

Hamas says the Palestinian government has "failed Gaza." (AFP)

Israel will allow 150 Palestinian students to leave Gaza via the Erez crossing. (Ma'an)

Muslims in Gaza are increasingly joining local Christians in Christmas celebrations. (Al Monitor)

A new poll shows Israel's center-left coalition running even with the right-wing Likud party. (Ha'aretz)

ISIS releases an interview with the Jordanian pilot it has captured. (AP)

ISIS asks its Twitter followers to suggest gruesome ways of murdering the pilot. (Ha'aretz)

A British journalist being held hostage "writes an article" in the latest issue of Isis' Dabiq magazine. (The Independent)

ISIS "executes up to 200 fighters" for trying to flee. (The Independent)

ISIS executes more doctors in Mosul. (RUDAW)

Air raid shelters in Aleppo have become underground schools. (Al Monitor)

The secular FSA is continuously gaining ground in the southern front in Syria. (Foreign Policy)

Iraqi government forces retake the town of Dhuluiya from ISIS. (BBC)

Journalists imprisoned in Egypt face an uncertain future. (AP)

Qatar is reportedly changing its policies and tilting toward Egypt. (The Media Line)

Libya's official government conducts airstrikes against rivals. (Reuters)

ground invasion of the Libyan capital by forces loyal to Gen. Khalifa Haftar may be imminent. (Foreign Policy)


Munib al-Masri asked if Israel is determined to turn a resolvable political conflict into an irresolvable religious one. (Ha'aretz)

J.J. Goldberg thinks the Palestinian leadership may actually want to lose the UN vote. (The Forward)

The Washington Post says Pres. Abbas is again insisting on failure. (Washington Post)

Sharif Nashashibi says Gaza will almost certainly experience another conflict soon. (The National)

Mira Sucharov asks why some Israelis are allergic to the word "Palestine." (Ha'aretz)

Raphael Magarik says those who oppose BDS, especially Jews, need to propose an alternative to ending occupation or they will lose. (Ha'aretz)

Yoel Guzansky says Israel and the Gulf states are engaging in secret cooperation, but it may not lead to reconciliation. (YNet)

The Wall Street Journal interviews anti-ISIS coalition leader retired Gen. John Allen. (Wall Street Journal)

Zvi Bar'el says Al Jazeera is surrendering to the dictates of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. (Ha'aretz)

Hassan Barari says Jordanians need to be brave in light of the ISIS capture of one of their pilots. (Jordan Times)

Denise Natali says Iraqi Arabs and Kurds are bickering over the liberation of Mosul. (Al Monitor)

Ali Hashem says the Iraqi military is pushing back ISIS in many different areas, inch by inch. (Al Monitor)

The Daily Star scoffs at the idea Russia can be a peacemaker in Syria. (Daily Star)

The Jordan Times says Syria needs an impartial mediator, not Russia. (Jordan Times)

The Gulf News says 2014 was a year to forget in the Arab world. (Gulf News)

Béji Caïd Essebsi lays out his vision for Tunisia. (Washington Post)


Palestinians plan to submit a statehood resolution to the UN. (Reuters/Ha'aretz/YNet)

Hamas condemns the Palestinian draft UN resolution.  (Ma'an)

Palestinian youth is reportedly shot dead by Israeli forces near Nablus. (Ma'an/Times of Israel)

Palestinian is injured in a confrontation with Israeli troops in Gaza. (Xinhua/Times of Israel)

Israeli forces open fire on Gaza fishermen. (Ma'an)

Hamas prevents 37 children from Gaza from going on a peace trip to Israel. (New York Times/AP/the Guardian)

Hamas accuses the Palestinian "unity government" of deliberately impeding reconstruction. (Ma'an)

Hamas head Meshal calls for Turkish-Palestinian unity in a surprise speech. (Ha'aretz)

Meshal is also set to visit Tehran. (Ha'aretz)

Eight PA ministers travel to Gaza. (YNet)

Israel is hopeful that the thaw between Egypt and Qatar will restrain Hamas. (Ha'aretz)

A Paris suburb honors jailed Palestinian figure Marwan Barghouti. (JTA)

An American arrested in Israel for seeking to destroy Muslim holy places in Jerusalem will be held until trial. (AP)

An anti-Arab group poses a legal and political dilemma for Israel. (Reuters)

In the battle against ISIS, the US is targeting its psychology. (New York Times)

Observers say ISIS has executed 2,000 people in the past six months. (Reuters)

Syrian government forces step up their attacks on ISIS-held areas. (BBC)

The capture of a pilot may threaten Jordan's role in the fight against ISIS. (Christian Science Monitor)

Iraqis wonder what's coming next in their fractured country. (Reuters)

suicide attack on a funeral in Iraq kills 15. (AP)

Iran holds a funeral for a general killed in Iraq. (AP)

Pres. Obama doesn't rule out establishing an embassy in Iran. (AP)

A "chaotic stalemate" emerges in Syria. (New York Times)

The Syrian regime turns to harsh measures to build up its army. (Washington Post)

Egypt upholds a "debauchery" conviction in a crackdown against gays. (Los Angeles Times/AP)

Militants kill a policeman in Egypt. (AP)

The leading opposition figure is arrested in Bahrain. (BBC/Asharq Al Awsat)

Extremist groups are escalating their attacks in Libya. (The National)

Libyan officials say Islamist militias are seeking complete control of the country's oil supplies. (Asharq Al Awsat)


Hussein Ibish says Roger Cohen's recounting of Tzipi Livni's account of peace talks failure ignores the American narrative. (The National)

Uri Savir says the US and Europe will offer Israel the Palestinians economic inducements for peace. (Al Monitor)

The Media Line interviews PA Deputy PM Mustafa, who says it's high time for independence from Israel. (The Media Line)

J.J. Goldberg says Israel cannot afford to ignore the world any longer. (The Forward)

Ha'aretz says razing the Amona outpost is merely returning what was stolen. (Ha'aretz)

Mshari Al-Zaydi looks at "Jordan's ISIS Dilemma." (Asharq Al Awsat)

Eyad Abu Shakra says Tunisia is again an Arab pioneer with its free presidential election. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Khales Joumah asks if the Kurdish victory at Sinjar has turned the tide of ISIS war. (The Daily Beast)

Hisham Melhem says 2014 meant despair and disintegration for the Arabs. (Al Arabiya)


A Palestinian injures two Israeli police officers in occupied East Jerusalem. (New York Times/AP)

Israeli soldiers shoot a Palestinian man trying to cross the Gaza border. (Ma'an)

An Israeli girl and her father are wounded in a fire bomb attack in the occupied West Bank. (New York Times/AP/Ma'an)

A 15-year-old Palestinian boy dies from injuries sustained in the summer's Gaza war. (Ma'an)

Palestinian is injured by PA police in a raid in Nablus. (Ma'an)

Israeli forces seize guns and pipe bombs, and arrest Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. (Jerusalem Post/YNet)

Israeli naval boats open fire on Palestinian fishermen in Gaza. (Ma'an)

Hamas may be rebuilding its military positions in Gaza. (YNet)

Qatar may be preparing to temporarily halt financial assistance to Hamas. (YNet)

Corruption is hampering Gaza reconstruction efforts. (The Guardian)

Israel's Supreme Court orders a West Bank settlement outpost to be demolished. (Los Angeles Times/Ha'aretz)

Israel is halting gas mask production due to a perceived decline in the threat of chemical weapons. (Ha'aretz)

Israeli Amb. to the US Dermer reportedly "flouts regulations" by endorsing PM Netanyahu. (Ha'aretz)

High-tech businesses are thriving in Nazareth. (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Thousands gather in Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations. (Ma'an)

Christians flock to Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations. (AP)

Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem find hope in Christmas. (Christian Science Monitor)

In Iraq, some Christmas traditions are only memories. (New York Times)

ISIS is trying to recruit entire families to build its new society. (Washington Post)

ISIS is apparently failing in its efforts to create a viable state in the areas under its rule. (Washington Post)

Serious differences are emerging within the ranks of ISIS. (Ha'aretz)

Fighters from other Syrian opposition groups are increasingly joining ISIS. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Kurdish fighters recapture villages from ISIS. (AP)

Human Rights Watch reiterates that the Syrian government is targeting civilians. (AP)

The Syrian war seems more fragmented than ever. (Reuters)

Syrian peace talks may start in Moscow next month. (AP)

The US says a Jordanian warplane crashed over Syria, and was not shot down by ISIS militants. (BBC)

The father of the Jordanian pilot captured by ISIS pleads for his release. (AP)

Jordan warns ISIS against harming the pilot. (New York Times)

New, independent publishing houses are springing up in Egypt. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Two women arrested for driving in Saudi Arabia are set to be tried in a terrorism court. (BBC)


Alan Phillips says Israeli policies are going to turn Bethlehem into a museum. (The National)

Amira Hass says Hamas knows the people of Gaza don't want another war with Israel. (Ha'aretz)

Ha'aretz says it's time to end the blockade of Gaza. (Ha'aretz)

Rana Askoul says Palestinians need to break free from the brutalizing pursuit of vengeance. (The National)

Roger Cohen thinks Tzipi Livni can explain why Israeli-Palestinian peace has failed. (New York Times)

Kai Bird says Israeli should focus on a national Israeli identity, rather than Jewish identity. (New York Times)

Akiva Eldar asks if an independent Palestinian state is the only way to stop Hamas. (Al Monitor)

Amos Harel says Egypt is strangling Gaza, but Israel gets the blame. (Ha'aretz)

Nir Hasson says Netanyahu is already reconciled to a divided Jerusalem. (Ha'aretz)

David Ignatius says the US has been slow to support Iraqi tribes in the fight against ISIS. (Washington Post)

Michael Jansen says the Iraqi government, too, must back Sunni tribesmen against ISIS. (Jordan Times)

Mshari Al-Zaydi sees interesting similarities in the situations in Egypt and Tunisia. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Avi Issacharoff says Tunisia's election was another defeat for the Muslim Brotherhood. (Times of Israel)

The New York Times says Tunisia's latest successful election means the country has won again. (New York Times)

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed asks if Tunisia's Islamists have "learned their lesson." (Asharq Al Awsat)

H. A. Hellyer asks if Egypt's opposition can learn to get along with each other. (Foreign Policy)

The Guardian condemns the persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority states. (The Guardian)


Hamas militants clash with Israeli occupation forces near the Gaza border. (New York Times/AP)

A Palestinian is reportedly killed, and an Israeli soldier injured, in the fighting. (Ma'an)

Israel approves 400 new settlement housing units. (Ha'aretz)

Pres. Abbas says the PA may "cut ties" with Israel if a draft Palestinian UN resolution fails. (Ma'an)

Israel's outgoing government is pumping millions of dollars into Jewish settlements ahead of national elections. (AP)

FM Lieberman declares that he is part of a "pragmatic national camp." (Jerusalem Post/Times of Israel)

Bethlehem prepares to celebrate Christmas Eve. (Ma'an)

Palestinian Christians in the occupied West Bank remain welcoming. (New York Times)

Palestinian Christians in Gaza face a bittersweet Christmas. (Ma'an)

Orphans in Gaza are still traumatized after the summer war. (The National)

ISIS extremists claim to have shot down a Jordanian jet from the US-led coalition, and has definitely captured the pilot. (New York Times/AP/Los Angeles Times)

Jordan confirms the loss of the plane and the capture of the pilot. (Xinhua/BBC)

ISIS is reportedly making slow progress in Syria despite US-led airstrikes. (The Media Line)

suicide attack kills at least 24 people near Baghdad. (AP/Xinhua)

The search is on for a diplomatic solution to the war in Syria. (AP)

Kurdish forces are engaged in a fierce battle with ISIS extremists in Sinjar. (AP)

The price of oil sinks to a mere $60 a barrel. (AP)

Democracy activists in Jordan say the country is using a new antiterrorism law to stifle dissent. (Christian Science Monitor)

The UN says rival factions in Libya agree "in principle" to peace talks. (Reuters)

Tunisia's new president will focus on the economy. (AP)


Lieberman says PM Netanyahu's status quo approach has failed and Israel needs a peace agreement. (Ha'aretz)

Avi Shilon says Lieberman gives pragmatism a bad name. (Ha'aretz)

Dan Goldenblatt says a two-state solution has failed, and it's time to look at an Israeli-Palestinian confederation. (The Forward)

Zvi Bar'el says Israel should try recognizing, and negotiating with, a Palestinian state. (Ha'aretz)

Raphael Ahren calls the latest Palestinian UN initiative "capricious" and "possibly self-defeating." (Times of Israel)

Amira Hass says Abbas is a "monarch" and a "subcontractor of the occupation." (Ha'aretz)

Christian Caryl says it's a grim Christmas for Middle Eastern Christians, who face the destruction of their world. (Foreign Policy)

Rashmee Roshan Lall says ISIS' brutality portends its eventual defeat. (The National)

Omar al-Jaffal says ISIS is consolidating its control over Anbar province. (Al Monitor)

Osama Al Sharif says Jordan has a crucial role in the war against extremism. (Jordan Times)

Aaron David Miller says Pres. Obama is no lame duck on foreign policy. (CNN)

Joseph Kechichian says Tunisians have voted for security and accountability. (Gulf News)

Hussein Ibish says Nida Tunis may face lose-lose scenarios in victory, and Ennahda win-win ones in defeat. (NOW)


Donor funds pledged for Gaza reconstruction remain largely undelivered. (Reuter/AP)

The PA forms a committee to examine taking over Gaza's crossings. (Times of Israel)

Israel issues demolition orders for five Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma'an)

Palestinian shopkeepers in occupied East Jerusalem say Israel is cracking down on them. (Ma'an)

Israel indicts eight Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem for "incitement" on Facebook. (Ma'an)

A prisoner being held on drug charges dies in Palestinian custody. (Ma'an)

With Israel's approval, Palestinians in Gaza are importing the machinery for a Coca-Cola plant. (YNet)

German journalist says ISIS is "more dangerous than people realize." (CNN/BBC)

Women are abused and excluded from public life by ISIS. (AP)

Iraqi Yazidi girls abducted by ISIS endure horror and incredible abuses. (AP)

A video suggests ISIS executed for members for being even more radical than the main group. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

In Baghdad, Christmas shopping is going on under the shadow of ISIS. (Washington Post)

ISIS extremists are pummeled in Kobane, but are holding on to parts of the city. (Christian Science Monitor)

Over 1000 Muslim extremists in Syria are estimated to have been killed in US-led airstrikes. (Reuters)

The Algerian army says it killed the man responsible for beheading a Frenchman. (AP)

Qatar suspends a TV station critical of the Egyptian government. (New York Times/BBC)

Iraq's cabinet approves next year's budget. (AP)

The UN says hundreds of civilians have been killed in recent months of fighting in Libya. (Reuters)


Roger Cohen says Israel's upcoming election highlights the choice between peace and annexation. (New York Times)

Chibli Mallat calls for a Jewish-Arab coalition against the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. (Daily Star)

Nahum Barnea looks at the "radical rabbis pulling the strings" of housing minister Ariel. (YNet)

Jason Horowitz asks if "liberal Zionists can count on Hillary Clinton." (New York Times)

Neri Zilber says Gaza is an explosion waiting to happen. (Politico)

John Whitbeck looks at the pros and cons of pro-Palestinian rulings by European parliaments. (Ma'an)

Fouad Hamdan and Shiar Youssef look at Iran's role as a "occupying force in Syria." (Middle East Institute)

Linda Heard says Egypt is making baby steps towards prosperity and democracy. (Arab News)

James Traub says the transformation of Alexandria from cosmopolitan hub to Salafist base is emblematic of broader changes in the Arab world. (Foreign Policy)

The CSM says Tunisia's election keeps hope alive for the Arab Spring. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Daily Star says Tunisia's election again sets the bar for the Arab world. (Daily Star)


Sec. Kerry resumes US efforts to push for Middle East peace. (AP)

FM al-Maliki says Palestinians are making amendments to their proposed UN Security Council draft resolution. (Ma'an)

Sec. Kerry tells European diplomats action on the Palestinian draft resolution should wait until after Israel's elections. (Foreign Policy)

India may drop its traditional support of Palestine at the UN. (Ha'aretz/Jerusalem Post)

Serbian-Israeli ties are flourishing, despite tensions from the 1990s. (Ha'aretz)

A Palestinian man is arrested after a foiled attack on an Israeli soldier. (AP)

Stone-throwing Palestinians injure an Israeli boy. (AP)

Egypt allows travelers from Gaza into the country for the first time since October. (Reuters/Ma'an)

Experts say delays in Gaza reconstruction could lead to more violence. (AP/Xinhua)

A senior Hamas official in Turkey says the group has no interest in another conflict with Israel. (Ha'aretz)

Bethlehem is lacking tourists this Christmas season. (The Media Line)

PM Netanyahu is receiving hefty donations from US patrons. (YNet)

Pres. el-Sisi replaces Egypt's intelligence chief. (New York Times)

Egypt arrested almost 10,000 people in 2014. (AP)

A delivery of helicopters shows US-Egypt ties are mending. (Reuters)

Tensions continue between Qatar and other GCC states. (New York Times)

Kurdish fighters push deeper into the town of Sinjar, but face stiff resistance from ISIS extremists. (AP/Reuters)

Belgian father is searching for his son, feared to join extremists, on the Syrian border. (Christian Science Monitor)

Lebanon says it needs French fighter jets to combat Muslim extremists. (Reuters)

Lebanon's Christians take up arms in the face of threats from ISIS extremists. (The National)

As Christmas approaches, Baghdad's Christians lament empty pews. (Washington Post)l

Secular leader Beji Caid Essebsi is confirmed as winner of Tunisia's first free presidential poll. (BBC)


Hussein Ibish says a compromise agreement on the draft Palestinian UN text is in everyone's interests. (The National)

The New York Times says the upcoming Israeli election will likely determine the future of a two-state outcome between Israel and the Palestinians. (New York Times)

Uri Savir says the US and Europe are trying to preserve Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation. (Al Monitor)

Mariam Barghouti describes Ramallah's "mean streets." (New York Times)

Oudeh Basharat says the Israeli right is hoping to deploy a divide and conquer strategy against Arabs. (Ha'aretz)

Asmaa al-Ghoul examines why Hamas won't label ISIS a "terrorist" organization. (Al Monitor)

Shlomi Eldar describes how Hamas scored a diplomatic victory in Europe. (Al Monitor)

Zvi Bar'el says warming ties between Egypt and Qatar may cost Hamas. (Ha'aretz)

Shimon Shiffer says Israel will get the future of peace or war that it chooses. (YNet)

Jeff Barak says economy Minister Bennett's vision for the future is truly terrifying. (Jerusalem Post)

The National says it remains to be seen whether or not Tunisians have just reelected the "old guard." (The National)

Amr Moussa says Egypt’s political parties are “weak” but not ineffective. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Salman Aldossary looks at the winners and losers in the Egypt-Qatar rapprochement. (Asharq Al Awsat)

The Gulf News says the Egypt-Qatar rapprochement will help fight terror. (Gulf News)

Mostafa Hashem warns that some of Egypt's youth are starting to embrace radicalism. (Daily Star)

Manaf Al-Obaidi says Mosul is a city living in fear under the rule of ISIS extremists. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Mshari Al-Zaydi says no one wants to share a world with ISIS leader Baghdadi and other violent extremists. (Asharq Al Awsat)

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017