May 14th


The Vatican officially recognizes the State of Palestine in a new treaty.(AP\Ma’an\Ha’aretz\Times of Israel\Ynet\Jerusalem Post\Foreign Policy\JTA\New York Times\Washington Post)

The PLO says the Vatican’s agreement is a “genuine contribution to peace and justice.” (Ma’an\PNN)

Strategic consultations between Israel and France last week end in discord over French initiative for UN resolution on talks with Palestinians. (Ha’aretz\Ma’an)

EU Foreign Policy Chief Mogherini will visit Israel and the PA next week. (Times of Israel)

A Palestinian official says the documentation necessary for Palestine to bring Israel to the ICC will be approved before the end of 2015. (Ma’an)

PM Netanyahu says he wants to achieve peace with the Palestinians and other Arab states. (AFP)

Three Israeli teenagers are wounded in a suspected terror attack outside of a settlement in theoccupied West Bank. (Ha’aretz\Times of Israel\Ynet\Jerusalem Post\AFP)

Sen. Rubio backs Netanyahu and says conditions for a two-state solution “do not exist today.” (Ha’aretz)

Germany announces a $41 million contribution to the UNRWA shelter assistance program in Gaza. (Ma’an)

Egypt continues to crack down on Gaza tunnels, but faces setbacks in Sinai. (Times of Israel)

Israel will demolish an electricity grid near the Qasra village in southern Nablus. (Ma’an)

The US issues a warning urging citizens to exercise caution ahead of Nakba day. (Ha’aretz\Times of Israel\JTA) 

The Canadian government denies a report that its considering criminalizing boycotts of Israel. (JTA)

A report indicates 75% of occupied East Jerusalem residents live below the poverty line. (Jerusalem Post)

Pres. Obama discusses American efforts to forge an international nuclear deal with Iran with Saudi leaders. (Reuters\The National)

Obama convenes Camp David summit with Gulf state leaders. (AP)

Saudi Arabia promises to match Iran in nuclear capabilities. (New York Times\Times of Israel)

A senior Iranian official says King Salman is a "traitor to Islam" and equates Saudi Arabia's military assault in Yemen with Israeli actions against Palestinians. (Reuters)

Syrian armed groups opposed to Pres. Assad reject an invitation to UN consultations in Geneva. (Reuters)

Hezbollah and the Syrian army make big advances against insurgents in mountains north of Damascus. (Reuters)

King Abdullah meets with Chancellor Merkel. (Jordan Times)


Michael Young says Israel's swing to the right in the last election reinforces commonly held attitudes about the country in the region. (The National)

Gideon Levy says the more Israel represses the Nakba, the stronger the memories. (Ha’aretz)

Ari Shavit says Israel has abandoned young Jewish Americans in its fight against BDS. (Ha’aretz)

Joyce Karam asks if Obama and the GCC can strike a balance at the Camp David summit. (Al Arabiya)

John Duke Anthony says the Camp David summit is an opportunity for strategic reassurance. (Al Arabiya)

Robert Manning says as the Gulf countries contemplate the US's commitment to the region, Taiwan's experience could be instructive. (The National)

Roger Cohen says Iran these days is a greater focus of Arab ire and disquiet than Israel. (New York Times)

Michael Young looks at Pres. Assad’s “perilous dance with Iran.” (Daily Star)

Elizabeth Dickinson asks if Saudis will be celebrating when the Kingdom turns up the heat against ISIS. (Foreign Policy)

May 13th


Pres. Obama says Palestinians deserve an end to the occupation. (Ma’an\Ynet\Asharq al Awsat)

Despite Obama’s demand, PM Netanyahu’s coalition guidelines makes no commitment to a Palestinian state. (Ha’aretz)

ICC prosecutor Bensouda says without cooperation, the Gaza war probe will rely on evidence from just one side. (Ha’aretz\Times of Israel\AP)

prominent group of EU diplomats says US policy with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has failed and a new EU led approach is needed. (Jerusalem Post)

The occupied West Bank’s electricity grid will be connected to Jordan. (Ma’an)

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics says it has recorded a population of 12.1 millionpeople worldwide, the majority of whom live outside of the territories. (AFP\Times of Israel\Ynet)

An Israeli court sentences a Palestinian man for incitement and for supporting a terroristorganization based on his Facebook posts. (New York Times\JTA)

Armed men open fire at the Palestinian president's guards while in their vehicle near Balata refugee camp. (Ma’an)

Israel is stepping up its diplomatic initiatives as fears grow over FIFA suspension. (Ha’aretz)

Obama will meet with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayeh today. (Reuters)

Obama tells an Arab newspaper that he will remain tough on Iran. (New York Times)

Saudi-led air strikes hit the rebel-held Yemeni capital Sanaa hours before a five-day humanitarian truce takes effect. (Reuters\AP\New York Times\Washington Post\The National)

Iran warns the Saudi-led coalition targeting Yemeni rebels that blocking an Iranian aid ship bound for Yemen will "spark a fire." (AP)

ISIS extremists have dug trenches around natural gas and hydrogen tanks at Iraq's largest refinery, raising the stakes in a battle. (Reuters)

Israel says Hezbollah positions put Lebanese at risk. (New York Times)

ICC prosecutor Bensouda says she can investigate alleged crimes by ISIS in Libya. (Reuters)


Adnan Abu Amer says Hamas is seeking a rapprochement with Saudi Arabia to improve its leverage in Palestinian reconciliation talks. (Al-Monitor)

Ahmad Melhem says Hamas and Fatah are focusing on trivial issues instead of taking advantage of former Pres. Carter’s reconciliation efforts. (Al-Monitor)

Joseph Dana says football is the latest theatre of struggle between Israel and Palestinians. (The National)

Ron Kampeas says the mistrust between Netanyahu and Obama is “personal and cynical.” (JTA)

Ben Sales looks at how a women’s party is challenging the status quo in an Arab-Israeli city. (JTA)

Aaron David Miller says Israel watchers have been expecting icy relations between Obama and Bibi to worsen -- but the post-election period may offer an unexpected thaw.  (Foreign Policy)

Eric Yoffie explains what Jewish Americans want from Netanyahu. (Ha’aretz)

The Washington Post says the absence of King Salman at the US-GCC summit is an unmistakable signal of dissatisfaction with the US. (Washington Post)

The National says at the upcoming Camp David summit Gulf leaders will make their views known to Obama. (The National)

Jeremy Shapiro and Richard Sokolsky says the Camp David summit is an opportunity for Washington to send the Gulf a tough message. (Foreign Policy)

Andrew Bowen says Obama underestimates the challenge Iran poses to the security of the region and the GCC. (Al Arabiya)

David Ignatius says Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are now cooperating on Syria. (Washington Post)

David Ignatius says the US must fight ISIS’ “brand appeal.” (Washington Post)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says an Iranian nuclear deal will empower hardliners. (Al Arabiya)

May 12th


Israeli Gen. Turgeman says Israel and Hamas share “common interests.” (Reuters\Times of Israel\Ynet\Jerusalem Post)

A senior Palestinian official says the US and the EU are pressuring the PA to renew peace talks with Israel. (Jerusalem Post)

Civil servants hired by Hamas go on strike in Gaza. (Ma’an)

Japan criticizes a recent decision by Israeli authorities to approve construction of 900 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma’an)

Israeli forces demolish a mosque under construction in a Bedouin village near Beersheba. (Ma’an)

A Palestinian engineer is pioneering a machine to make seawater potable for residents of Gaza. (Ma’an\Times of Israel)

Palestinian-American teenager Tariq Abu Khdeir who was beaten by Israeli police was reportedly received by the White House last month. (Ha’aretz\Times of Israel)

proposal to expand the number of government ministers narrowly passes a first reading in the Knesset. (JTA\Ynet)

The White House is countering perceptions that King Salman’s absence from a summit later this week could undermine US efforts to assure Gulf states against Iran. (Reuters\AP\New York Times)

The US and EU warn that Libyan state institutions risk being exploited by rival forces. (Reuters)

Sec. Kerry hopes to explore Russia’s flexibility on Syria and Ukraine during talks with Pres. Putin. (Reuters)

An international aid group says Syria has been contaminated with weapons and bombs that the lives of 2 million children are at constant risk. (AP)

Two Iraqi Sunni leaders denounce the Iraqi government for failing to build a multi-sectarian nation. (New York Times)

Egyptian media is publishing attacks against Pres. Sisi. (Reuters)

The P5+1 resume nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna. (Ha’aretz)


Shlomi Eldar says Hamas’ military wing is blocking attempts to reach a long-term ceasefire with Israel. (Al-Monitor)

Ron Kampeas analyses the role of Israel-Palestine in an African-American play. (JTA)

Daniella Peled asks what PM Cameron’s re-election means for Israel. (Ha’aretz)

David Rothkopf looks at the decline of the US’ special relationships with Israel and the UK. (Foreign Policy)

Shaun Brimley, Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas Heras ask if Pres. Obama can save the Camp David US-GCC summit. (Foreign Policy)

Faisal J. Abbas says the upcoming US-GCC summit should be about more than “words and weapons.” (Al Arabiya)

The Daily Star says the Saudi volte-face on King Salman’s attendance at the GCC summit should rightly be seen as a snub to Obama. (Daily Star)

Jamal Khashoggi says Iranian “madness and insolence” have increased not just in Syria, but also in Yemen. (Al Arabiya)

May 8th


Human Rights Watch accuses the Palestinian security forces of arresting and questioning West Bank students over their political opinions. (AFP)

delegation of eight members from a European observers mission to monitor the Rafah border crossing arrives in Gaza. (Ma’an)

The PLO says PM Netanyahu's new right-wing religious "government of war" is a blow to an already stagnating peace process. (AFP/Ha’aretz)

Israeli forces release Palestinian singer Shadi al-Burini after detaining him for several hours while he was shooting a video at the Huwwara checkpoint. (Ma’an)

Jewish settlers harass the head of the Palestinian Football Association and the South African head of an anti-racism group during a tour in Hebron. (Ma’an)

Europe and the US are keeping a watchful eye on Israel’s legislative plans. (Reuters)

AP looks at the key figures in Israel’s new government. (AP)

Pres. Obama in his message congratulating Netanyahu on forming a new Israeli governmentemphasizes the importance of a two-state solution. (JTA/Ha’aretz/Jerusalem Post)

The Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah fighters, makes advances in mountainous areas along Syria's border with Lebanon. (Reuters)

The US begins training Syrian rebels in Jordan to fight ISIS. (AP/New York Times)

Saudi-led warplanes bomb targets in Yemen's Saada province and drop leaflets asking civilians to leave one district a day after promising a harsh response. (Reuters/AP)

Sec. Kerry meets with Gulf ministers to discuss Iran and Yemen. (Reuters)

The US Senate votes overwhelmingly to pass a bill giving Congress the right to review, and potentially reject, an international agreement with Iran. (Reuters/AP)

A senior al-Qaeda leader dies in a Yemen drone strike. (New York Times)


David Ignatius says Netanyahu is struggling at home. (Washington Post)

Raphael Ahren says for first time in 20 years, talks with the Palestinians don’t appear in any coalition agreement. (Times of Israel)

Ha’aretz says Israel's new government will lead a racist legislation while working to “gut the courts.” (Ha’aretz)

Nathan Guttman identifies seven things about Netanyahu’s new cabinet. (The Forward)

Siobhan O’Grady profiles Israel’s new Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. (Foreign Policy)

Carolina Landsmann says the possibility presented by Bennett and adopted by the right wing, of eternal Israeli rule over the Palestinians, is impossible. (Ha’aretz)

Ami Ayalon says the US and the international community should take the lead on a two-state solution. (Al-Monitor)

Fareed Zakaria says tides in the region have shifted in Israel’s favor. (Washington Post)

Jane Arraf says the threat of ISIS, combined with meager US and Iraqi government support, is driving Sunni tribes into the arms of Iranian-backed Shiite militias. (Foreign Policy)

The Daily Star says Hezbollah now finds itself again providing crucial life support to the Syrian regime across the border. (Daily Star)

Michael Young says Qalamoun is a test of Hezbollah’s hopes. (Daily Star)

Khairallah Khairallah says Hezbollah is laundering weapons and power. (Al Arabiya)

May 7th


Israel approves the construction of 900 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem. (AFP/Times of Israel)

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Erekat says the new Israeli government will be belligerent and work against peace. (AFP/PNN/JTA)

The PA is spearheading an effort to have Israel added to a UN list of human rights violators. (JTA)

The Israeli army will check for Hamas tunnels near the Gaza border kibbutz. (Ha’aretz/Times of Israel)

Jewish settlers attack the car of a senior adviser to PM Hamdallah near Nablus. (Ma’an)

The heads of Israeli and Palestinian football will meet in Zurich in a bid to head off a Palestinian bid to expel Israel from the sport's governing body. (AFP)

Movie experts call on the Gaza Ministry of Culture to reopen the movie theaters that were closed down during the first intifada. (Al-Monitor)

PM Netanyahu clinches a deal to form a new government. (Reuters/AP/New York Times/JTA)

The Syrian army and Hezbollah advance in areas along the Lebanese border. (Reuters/The National)

Hundreds of members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood have returned from exile and are hoping to rebuild the movement. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia says all options are open including ground operations to stop mortar attacks on its border towns by Yemen's Houthis. (Reuters)

In a letter to the UNYemen urges ground intervention to save the country. (Reuters/AP)

Sec. Kerry says aid needs in Yemen are dire. (New York Times)

Saudi Arabia agrees to a temporary halt in Yemen attacks after talks with Kerry. (Washington Post)

Changes in Saudi Arabia's leadership make the conservative kingdom's strategic positions less predictable. (Reuters)

The mayor of Tehran Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf becomes a patron of the arts. (New York Times)


Nahum Barnea says the new Israeli government can only survive thanks to Netanyahu’s authority and fear of elections. (Ynet)

Akiva Eldar says the balance of power in the Knesset is clearly in favor of those supporting a two-state solution. (Al-Monitor)

Shmuel Rosner says Netanyahu and his partners haven't been magnanimous in victory. (New York Times)

Peter Beinart says violence doesn't erase the legitimacy of grievances – in Baltimore, Tel Aviv or the West Bank. (Ha’aretz)

Hussein Ibish says the stakes have never been higher for relations between the US and its Gulf allies. (NOW)

Joyce Karam asks if there will be a Syria for Iran bargain at the upcoming US-GCC summit. (Al Arabiya)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says the most important aspect of the war in Yemen is not its intensity, but the disintegration of domestic partisan and tribal alliances. (Al Arabiya)

May 5th


Fatah official says Armenia will allow Palestinian passport holders to enter the country without the need to arrange a visa prior to arrival. (Ma’an/PNN)

The first round of consultations between India and Palestine are held in Ramallah in efforts to strengthen bilateral diplomatic relations. (Ma’an)

Hamas launches a crackdown on radical Salafi groups following a series of unclaimed bombings in Gaza. (AP)

Lauryn Hill is canceling a planned performance in Tel Aviv because she wasn't able to also schedule a concert in Ramallah. (AP/AFP/JTA/Ha’aretz)

FIFA's 209 member federations will be asked to consider suspending Israel from world soccer this month. (Ha’aretz)

A Danish group vows to expand an advertising campaign urging people to boycott products from Israeli settlements. (AFP/Jerusalem Post)

The New York Times profiles Demas Fikadey, symbol of the Ethiopian-Israeli discontent. (New York Times)

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah says the downfall of Pres. Assad would mean the fall of Hezbollah. (Ynet/Jerusalem Post)

Amnesty International says Syrian government forces are targeting civilians in barrel bomb attacks in Aleppo. (Reuters/AP)

Senegal will send 2,100 troops to Saudi Arabia as part of an international coalition combatingHouthi rebels in Yemen. (Reuters/AP) 

Sec. Kerry will visit Riyadh for discussions with Saudi government leaders. (AP)

France and Saudi Arabia say any future nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 must be “robust, verifiable and no threat to Tehran's neighbors.” (Reuters/The National)

India will push with plans to build a port in southeast Iran, ignoring US warning against haste. (Reuters)

The New York Times looks at the visible effects of droughts in Iran. (New York Times)


Adnan Abu Amer says more divisions are being reported between Hamas’ political and military wings. (Al-Monitor)

Aziza Nofal says the PA’s crackdown on West Bank refugee camps and withholding of aid is adding to the marginalization of the youth. (Al-Monitor)

Nour Samaha says Yarmouk is a microcosm of the tangled loyalties created by the Syrian crisis. (Foreign Policy)

Bradley Burston says whoever you are, whatever your politics, you need to know what happened in Gaza. (Ha’aretz)

Ben Sales explains why Ethiopian-Israelis took to Tel Aviv’s streets. (JTA)

Rob Swift asks what a new UK PM could mean for Israel. (The Media Line)

Martin Jay looks at the options facing the Kurds. (The National)

Diana Moukalled looks at the propaganda wars between ISIS and the Shiite popular mobilization forces. (Al Arabiya)

May 4th


Israeli veterans say permissive rules of engagement coupled with indiscriminate artillery fire contributed to the high numbers of civilian casualties in Gaza. (Washington Post/Ha’aretz/The National)

A number of private hospitals in the occupied West Bank are on the verge of collapse. (Ma’an)

Israeli defense officials say the approval of building plans for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank is subject to political considerations. (AFP)

Islamic Jihad accuses the PA of arresting and harassing its members in the occupied West Bank. (Ma’an)

Former Pres. Carter calls for Palestinian elections following his visit to Ramallah. (JTA/Ha’aretz/Jerusalem Post)

Israeli security guards shoot at and wound a Palestinian man after he allegedly attempted to stabcivilians at a light-rail station in Jerusalem. (Ha’aretz/Ma’an/Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

Protests of Ethiopian Jews draw attention to racism in Israel. (Reuters/AP/New York Times/PNN/JTA)

Pres. Rivlin says Israel must respond to the grievances of the Ethiopian Jews. (AP/New York Times/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel)

Former FM Lieberman says his Yisrael Beiteinu party would not join the new government coalition. (JTA/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

Two mortar shells fired from Syria wound two UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights. (Ha’aretz/JTA/Times of Israel)

senior Syrian army officer is wounded in a suicide bombing in a central Damascus district. (Reuters)

Syrian state media says the central bank is trying to stabilize its ailing currency. (AP)

World leaders are linking the nuclear talks with Iran to the possibility for peace in Syria. (New York Times)

Yemeni fighters who are believed to have received training and weapons in the Persian Gulf enter combat around the southern city of Aden. (New York Times)

France and Qatar sign a deal for the sale of 24 Rafale fighter jets, an accord Pres. Hollande hails as a mark of Gulf Arab regard for French regional strategy. (Reuters/AP)


J.J. Goldberg looks at the recent split in Hamas’s political and military wings. (The Forward)

Uri Savir says the PA is planning a diplomatic offensive to reconquer the interest of the international community. (Al-Monitor)

Nahum Barnea says Israeli society is “infected with racism.” (Ynet)

Ha’aretz says dealing with discrimination against Israelis of Ethiopian descent must be at top of new government's agenda. (Ha’aretz)

Hussein Ibish says military cooperation between Sunni countries has a logic, but the joint force faces big obstacles. (New York Times)

Faisal Al Yafai says Yemen's south cannot easily stay within a united Yemen. (The National)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says PM al-Abadi has two big rivals: ISIS and former PM Maliki. (Al Arabiya)

Aaron David Miller looks at what the recent rebel gains mean for Pres. Assad.  (Foreign Policy)

The Washington Post looks at the recent shakeup of the Saudi cabinet. (Washington Post)

Hussein Ibish says a nuclear deal with Iran is changing the “old order.” (The National)

Theodore Karasik says the international community should focus on Libya. (Al Arabiya)

May 1st


The ICC chief prosecutor Bensouda says she is weighing opening war crimes investigations into Palestinians as well as Israelis. (AFP)

Israeli occupation forces detain three Palestinians in southern Nablus. (Ma’an)

Street artist Banksy finds a canvas and a new fanbase in Gaza’s ruins. (New York Times)

The Islamic University in Gaza introduces two diploma programs for hearing-impaired students. (Al-Monitor)

Israelis of Ethiopian origin protest police violence in Jerusalem. (Reuters/AP/AFP/JTA)

Israel blames its Arab neighbors for the failure of progress toward achieving a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. (Ha’aretz/Times of Israel)

Islamist rebels and the Syrian army fight in Latakia province close to Pres. Assad's ancestral home. (Reuters)

Kobani is still a ghost town, months after the liberation from ISIS. (AP)

year after opening Azraq camp in Jordan, billed as an improved model for sheltering Syrian refugees, has a mixed record. (AP)

proposal to arm Sunnis adds to Iraqi suspicions of the US. (New York Times)

Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition target a residential district in Sanaa, killing ten civilians. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia's Supreme Economic Council approves a restructuring of state oil company Aramco. (Reuters/Al Arabiya)

VP Biden says the US is willing to go to war to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. (JTA/Times of Israel)

FM Zarif congratulates his newly-installed Saudi counterpart on his appointment. (AFP)


Amos Harel says the secret talks hold hope for a lengthy Hamas-Israel truce. (Ha’aretz)

Hussein Ibish says King Salman's recent move concentrates his own power and that of his Sudairi relatives for the foreseeable future. (NOW)

Hussein Ibish says recent changes in the Saudi government consolidate King Salman’s power. (AGSIW)

Salman Aldossary says King Salman is restructuring the Saudi state and regulating the work of the government. (Asharq al-Awsat)

David Ignatius says Iran wants dialogue with the region. (Washington Post)

Zvi Bar’el says Iran is already preparing for the day after sanctions are lifted. (Ha’aretz)

Jamal Khashoggi says Iran does not want Saudi Arabia to emerge victorious in Yemen. (Al Arabiya)

Majid Rafizadeh says  Iranian leaders will not change their regional ambitions, sectarian agenda and revolutionary principles. (Al Arabiya)

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