An underground barrier being constructed by Egypt along the border with Gaza comes under heavy criticism. A prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas continues to be negotiated. An American-style college program has opened for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Extremist rabbis from government-affiliated religious institutions continue to urge Israeli soldiers to disobey orders. Israel has jailed the leader of the nonviolent Stop The Wall campaign. Pres. Abbas says he's not optimistic about peace. A commentary in Ha'aretz says the Israeli peace camp needs to focus on a return to the 1967 borders, and another in YNet says that Israel is squandering an opportunity to make peace with the best Palestinian partners it has ever had. A Labor MK and former cabinet minister calls for a new American peace initiative to replace the Roadmap. Former Pres. Carter calls for the rebuilding of Gaza. A former Bush speechwriter says politicians from the religious right like Palin and Huckabee will find their encouragement of settlements has consequences. Leonard Fein expresses doubts about PM Netanyahu's intentions on peace. A new Palestinian opinion poll shows Pres. Abbas would beat Hamas leader Hanniyeh by 16 points in a new election. IPS reports that Europe's ties with Israel remained close in spite of recent tensions.

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