June 29th

Hezbollah and Israel agree to a controversial prisoner swap (1) (3). Israel reopens three of the Gaza crossings that were shut down in response to rocket fire last week (2). Palestinian Prime Minster Salam Fayyad signs a deal with the World Bank to finance three major utility projects in Gaza, which are on hold due to the Israeli blockade (4). The ceasefire continues in Gaza, though few are optimistic about how long it will last (6) (8). An Israeli settlement on South Mount Hebron welcomes ten new families, despite talk of a freeze on settlement expansion (11).

June 26th

The Hamas – Israel cease fire continues to hold despite Palestinian rocket attacks and closed Gaza border crossings (1) (4). An article by Dion Nissenbaum finds that Israeli settlement construction has accelerated in the months since the Annapolis conference (2). Israeli troops disperse a protest against the separation wall, injuring twelve Palestinians (6). Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad calls on Israel to reopen border crossing with the Gaza Strip (7).

June 25th

In a noticeable change of position Hamas decries the use of Qassam rockets as damaging to the Palestinian national interest (1). An opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times criticizes candidates exploitation of the American Muslim-Jewish divide (2). In The New Yorker Connie Bruck looks at controversial multibillionaire Sheldon Adelson’s political commitment to Israel (5). The tenuous ceasefire between Hamas and Israel continues despite recent rocket fire, though Gaza crossings remain closed (6) (8) (12). A last-minute compromise to between the two main Israeli political parties saves the parliament from dissolution and early elections (7) (9).

June 24th

An article by Prinecton professor Bernard Chazelle examines the prospects of the Two-State Solution (1). The Quartet lends their support to Tuesday’s Berlin Conference (4). Controversy continues to surround the Hamas-Israel cease fire and its recent breach (5) (6). French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pledges to aid the Palestinians are welcomed (7) (11).

June 23rd

A State Department Press Release features Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s remarks prior to the Berlin Conference held earlier today (1). The ceasefire between Hamas and Israel is reportedly broken as Palestinian rockets from Gaza land in southern Israel (4) and two Palestinians are killed in the West Bank (11). The suicide of an Israeli policeman at French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s departure ceremony mars his visit after a productive meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (5). Progress on security assistance reported at the Berlin conference (6), but challenges remain (7).

June 22nd

An ATFP translation of an article in Al-Ayyam Daily looks at the prospects of the Berlin Conference, scheduled to begin tomorrow (1). Newsweek’s Lally Weymouth sits down with Jordanian King Abdullah (2). Skepticism regarding the Hamas- Israel ceasefire continues (4) (6) (12) (13) even as the deal is gradually implemented (3). In a recent speech to the Israeli Knesset French President Nicolas Sarkozy offered his help in brokering Middle East peace (8).

June 19th

The debate continues on all sides regarding the Hamas-Israel truce that began yesterday (1) (2) (3) (8) (9) (12). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issues a plan for a US-backed overhaul of Palestinian security forces (5). Tensions between Israel and Iran continue to cause concern (4) (7). A letter to the Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer from ATFP Senior Fellow Hussein Ibish challenges assertions by former Senator Rick Santorum (13).

June 18th

A CNN analysis looks at steps towards peace in the Middle East (1).The truce between Israel and Hamas begins today (4) (6) (7), and an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times and an editorial by the Washington Post consider its implications (2) (3). An ATFP translation of an article from Al-Quds examines the political relationship in Israel between Jews and Arabs (12).

June 17th

An Op-Ed by Dr. Ziad Asali warns of the grave dangers of a possible Israeli military action in Gaza (1). A truce is reached between Hamas and Israel (2) (7) (9) (10). Two articles look at the effects and future of the Gaza blockade (3) (5). The Israeli Knesset considers holding early elections (6). The IDF announces plans to remove some roadblocks in the West Bank region of Kalkilya in exchange for what it calls “a cessation of local terror activity” (11). An ATFP translation of an article in Al-Ayyam Daily looks at the situation in Palestine one year after the Hamas takeover of Gaza (12).

June 16th

The New York Times reports on progress being made by Israel on three diplomatic fronts (1). Israeli police arrest the two Jewish settlers involved in a recent assault on Palestinians that was caught on film (4). Reuters reports that a truce between Hamas and Israel has been reached and will begin on Thursday (5). Though the prospects for the success of the truce seem somewhat tenuous (9) (10). Claude Salhani reports on a relatively new Los Angeles based organization called the Israeli Palestinian Confederation (6).

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