November 13th

Yesterday's violence on the Gaza border again threatens the truce that has been in place since June (1) (6). The United Nations is forced to suspend food aid to 1.5 million people after Israel refuses to allow emergency supplies into Gaza (2). Israeli President Shimon Peres lauds Saudi King Abdullah's work on the Arab peace initiative (3) (9). Mayor-elect of Jerusalem, Nir Barakat, vows to keep the city "undivided" (5). Ehud Barak, Israeli defense minister and head of the Labor party, announces that Labor will not join a coalition government that is not committed to advancing peace talks with the Palestinians (7).

November 12th

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is interviewed by Arabic language daily Al-Ayyam (1). Gun fighting breaks out on the Gaza-Israel border, leaving four Palestinian militants dead (2). Jerusalem elects secular candidate Nir Barkat to be their next mayor (3). Israel forces a group of visiting diplomats to cancel a walking tour of the West Bank town of Hebron (4). The United Nations hosts an interfaith dinner with Arab leaders in New York (5). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas continues discussion about reconciliation with Hamas (6) (7). Israel allows delivery of diesel into Gaza (8). An advisor to U.S. President-elect Barack Obama denies reports that his team has met with Hamas (11).

November 11th

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reiterates that Israel must be willing to cede parts of Jerusalem if a peace deal is to be reached (1). Meanwhile, Prime Ministerial candidate and current Kadima party head Tzipi Livni seeks to distance herself from his strong language (8). The continued fuel shortage in Gaza forces the closure of the main power station (2). In The Guardian, Rory McCarthy reports on the recent Israeli supreme court decision to evict a Palestinian couple from the east Jerusalem home they have been living in for 52 years (4). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticizes Hamas at a memorial rally for the late Yasser Arafat (5).

November 10th

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice makes an historic visit to the West Bank town of Jenin during what will likely be her last official trip to the Palestinian territories (1) (2). In an interview with Der Spiegel Syrian Foreign Minister calls on the US to play a central role in Middle East politics (3). Israel has closed Gaza to outside fuel, food, and journalists (4). More Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem have reportedly been demolished by Israel (5). Outgoing Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert warns that time is running out for a two-state solution (7). Prime Ministerial candidates Livni and Netanyahu make pledges for the continuation of the peace process under their respective administrations (8) (11).Rice

November 7th

MJ Rosenberg comments on the Presidential elections and the Jewish vote (1). The White House announces that a peace deal won’t be reached during the Bush administration (2) (5). Fatah and Hamas will meet in Cairo for talks (3). The Financial Times urges President-elect Obama to name a Middle east Peace Envoy (4). Vice Premier Haim Ramon slams settler violence against security forces (8).

November 6th

Israel demolishes four Palestinian buildings in East Jerusalem (1). British customs officials express concern over goods produced in Israeli settlements that may be avoiding proper import taxes (2). Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Middle East visit is underway, with little expectation for any late breakthroughs (3) (4). Hamas arrests dozens of Fatah activists in the Gaza strip (5). The area chief for the World Bank states that the Palestinian economy is being crippled by Israeli restrictions (6). Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is set to visit President Bush in Washington later this month (7).

November 5th

The Middle East reacts to the United States’ election of Barack Obama (1) (6) (9). Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice embarks on another trip to the Middle East to secure a working peace process (2). Israeli special forces battle with Hamas militants in Gaza, leaving six dead (3) (4) (5). Palestinian protestors face Israeli police as they attempt to block the demolition of an East Jerusalem home (7).

November 4th

Time Magazine chronicles the ongoing battle between the Israeli government and settlers over Oush Grab (1). The New Statesman examines the tension and violence surrounding this year’s olive harvest in the West Bank (2). Palestinian unity talks are scheduled to be held next week in Cairo (3). Egypt uncovers 13 tunnels used to smuggle goods into the Gaza strip (4). Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal visits Beirut, Lebanon (5). Egypt reportedly refuses entry for six members of Hamas’ parliament who were set to leave on a visit to several Arab countries (6).

November 3rd

Departing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announces that Israel will cut off all direct or indirect government financing of illegal settlement outposts in response to rising violence by settler extremists (1). The International Herald Tribune profiles Israeli politician Yossi Beilin, who is set to retire from politics after February’s elections (2). An op-ed in the Economist surveys the prospects for peace talks under a new Israeli prime minister (3). The United Nations’ Middle East envoy condemns Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank (5). On the eve of United States elections, an op-ed by Ben Fishman in Al-Hayat assesses the future of U.S.-Middle East relations (8).

November 1st

The French presidency of the European Union condemns Israeli setteers’ attacks on Palestinians (1). Masked settlers assault Palestinian photographers near the West Bank town of Hebron (2). Several leading Israelis condemn the televised interview with former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin (3). Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set to leave Wednesday for a visit to the Middle East (5). The UN reports that 130 Palestinians have been displaced in the last two days as a result of Israeli home demolitions in the West Bank (10).

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