The Arab World’s first stand-up comedy festival is held in Amman, Jordan (1). In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Barack Obama pledges to reach out to the Muslim world during his presidency (2). Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party is accused by rivals of promoting extremism and isolation (4). Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari urges President-elect Obama to make Middle East peace a top priority for his administration (5). An Israeli settler, filmed shooting at Palestinians in the West Bank town of Hebron, is freed by a Jerusalem court (6). Israel approves a money transfer to the impoverished Gaza strip (7).

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