August 4th

USAID and American Charities for Palestine (ACP) partner to offer a historic opportunity for channeling American donations to help meet Palestinian humanitarian needs (1). In the New York Times Ethan Bronner examines the recent tumultuous events in Gaza (2). The ongoing effort to allow three of the Gazan Fulbright scholars to study in the United States is again blocked (4). Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas are scheduled to meet in Jerusalem on Wednesday, their first official meeting since Olmert's recent resignation announcement (6) (7).

July 30th

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement that he will resign in September leaves the future of the peace process uncertain (1) (2) (4) (9). The construction of twenty new settler homes in the West Bank is approved by the Israel Defense Ministry (3). An autopsy concludes that the ten year old Palestinian boy who was killed yesterday by Israeli forces was shot by live fire (5), while thousands turn out for his funeral in the West Bank (7). Three way peace talks with high-level negotiating teams begin today in Washington (8).

July 29th

A Palestinian boy is shot and killed by Israeli soldiers today during a protest near the separation barrier in the West Bank (1) (8). An article and video in The Guardian reveal abuses of Palestinians by settlers and the IDF (2), while AFP reports that Israeli soldiers are seldom punished for such attacks (3). Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announces that he will step down when his Kadima party picks a successor (10).

July 28th

The International Herald Tribune assesses the possibility of a peace between Israel and Syria (1). A colonel in the IDF faces allegations that he ordered a soldier to shoot a Palestinian detainee at close range (2). A report issued by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency shows that poverty in Gaza has reached an all time high of almost 52 percent (4). Pressure mounts on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to step down (5). Israel demolishes a Palestinian home near East Jerusalem which was allegedly built without planning permission (7).

July 27th

An article in the Washington Post examines the outstanding Arab financial commitments to the Palestinian Authority (1). Speculation continues about the prospect of a peace deal by the end of the year (4) (6). An ongoing drought results in severe water shortages for residents of the West Bank (5). Israel has reportedly decided to move a small portion of the West Bank separation barrier closer to the border, allowing Palestinians to recover about 700 acres near the town of Qalqilya (7).

July 24th

A new museum of archaeology is set to open in Gaza this summer (1). Barack Obama’s recent Middle East visit continues to draw a range of reactions (2) (4). The investigation of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert continues (6) while polls assess the possibility of new leadership (5). Tensions between settlers and the IDF heat up following recent clashes in the West Bank (8). The United States files an official protest with Israel regarding harsh treatment of Palestinians (10).

July 23rd

Senator Barack Obama’s recent Middle East trip draws mixed reviews (1) (2) (4) (8). The controversy over water rights in the West Bank continues to threaten the peace process (3). The IDF announces plans to scale down its operations in the West Bank town of Nablus, after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to pull his forces out of the city (6). Israel gives preliminary approval to the construction of a new settlement in the West Bank (7).

July 22nd

An ATFP translation of an article by Hasan Khader in Al-Ayyam daily suggests that there may be a double standard in the Arab world for judging human rights violations (1). Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert faces three no-confidence votes as the investigation into alleged bribery continues to challenge his position (3). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announces that he will remove his troops in the West Bank if the IDF does not cease their operations there (4) (7). Barack Obama pledges to take up the Palestinian-Israeli issue immediately after taking office (5). The ceasefire is holding in Gaza but Hamas warns that it will not last much longer if Israel continues the current state of siege (9). Meanwhile, YNet News reports on Gazans reliance on underground tunnels for smuggling in the goods that they cannot access (11).

July 20th

An IDF soldier is arrested following the release of video of the shooting of a Palestinian prisoner (1) (4). British Prime Minister Gordon Brown demands an end to Israeli settlement construction and promises more aid for the Palestinian economy (5). Israel continues its actions against allegedly Hamas-affiliated institutions in the West Bank (7). There is speculation that Israel might be willing to release Marwan Barghouti in exchange for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit (9) (11). Barack Obama is set to visit Israel and Palestine later this week (10) (12).

July 17th

The Israeli government faces criticism for their recent raids on institutions in the West Bank (1) (6). The prisoner exchange between Hezbollah and Israel is received with a host of different reactions (2) (8) (9) (10). The Nation features an article detailing the ongoing struggle against the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank town of Ni’lin (5). The U.S. government has reportedly invited Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to Washington for peace talks at the end of the month (7).

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