April 30th

The Jewish Daily Forward discusses Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's probable choice for U.S. ambassador (1). Members of Congress express skepticism over President Obama's recently proposed amendments to the Palestinian aid plan (2). The Christian Science Monitor looks at a joint Israeli-Palestinian event to mark the anniversary of the founding of Israel (3). Despite recent crackdowns , smuggling tunnels continue to run between Gaza and Egypt (4) as two Palestinians are killed in a tunnel collapse (6). Palestinian officials say that President Mahmoud Abbas may form a new government before he meets with President Obama in late May (9), while Hamas warns that they will reject any new government if it does not gain approval by the Palestinian Legislative Council (10).

April 29th

Another round of Palestinian national accord talks in Cairo ends in deadlock (1). Israeli President Shimon Peres is set to meet with President Obama in Washington next week (2). Britain criticizes a recently released UN human rights report on the Gaza war (4). Egypt cracks down on Gaza tunnel smugglers (5). A former Palestinian Authority official is sentenced to seven years in prison for embezzlement (6). The recently released World Bank report on Israeli-Palestinian water rights continues to provoke controversy (7). Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stresses his commitment to securing the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit (9). Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak voices his hope for peace within three years (10).

April 28th

Settlement monitors report that Israel built or issued bids for 9,000 Israeli homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank under Ehud Olmert’s administration (1), while construction begins on 60 new housing units in East Jerusalem settlements (4). A Palestinian teenager is shot by a settler in the northern West Bank (2). In The Guardian, Ben White examines the uncertain future of the Fatah party (3). Continued political infighting has trapped hundreds of Palestinian patients in Gaza, unable to travel for medical treatments (6). Mohammed Assadi profiles Nabi Elyas, a Palestinian West Bank village catering to Israeli consumers (7). An aide to Prime Minister Netanyahu says that his Middle East policy should be completed by the time he visits Washington next month (11). Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says a written plan for long-term peace was submitted to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just before the Gaza war (12).

April 27th

The Obama administration asks Congress to approve the potential continuation of aid to Palestine, even if officials backed by Hamas become part of a national accord government (1). Meanwhile, previously deadlocked unity talks between Hamas and Fatah resume in Cairo (7). Peace Now has reportedly obtained Israeli plans to expand the settlement of Maale Adumim near Jerusalem (2). BBC News examines the ongoing demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem (5). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he won’t be pressured into resuming peace talks with Israel as long as settlement construction continues (6). The proposed route for the controversial separation barrier is amended around the Palestinian town of Bil’in (11). In conversations with Haaretz, Israeli defense and security sources commend the work of Palestinian security forces in the West Bank (12).

April 24th

King Abdullah II of Jordan calls for an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in a speech to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (1). Secretary of State Clinton says that support for Israel in regards to Iran will only come “hand-in-hand” with progress towards a Palestinian state (2)(3). Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman calls the Arab Peace initiative ‘dangerous’ (5). Israeli mayor of Jerusalem rejects calls for a halt on demolitions of Arab homes (6). PM Netanyahu criticizes the EU for freezing their upgrade in ties (7). The candidate for Israel’s Ambassador to Washington supports a unilateral withdrawal of the West Bank including many settlements (9). Secretary Clinton vows that the US will only deal with a Palestinian government that commits to halting violence and recognizing the state of Israel (10). President Obama’s support for a two-state solution gives Arabs hope, but some skepticism remains.

April 23rd

The Israeli military announces the conclusion of several internal investigations of its conduct during the Gaza war (1), while Human Rights Watch deems the investigations an attempt to cover up misconduct (7). The Jewish Daily Forward speculates on the growing differences between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu (2), and MJ Rosenberg offers his assessment of the issue (4). An Egyptian American Muslim woman is appointed as an advisor to President Obama (3). After meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi pledges strong support for a two-state solution (9). Jordan’s King Abdullah II meets with U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (10).

April 22nd

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces that the U.S. will not recognize a Palestinian government that includes Hamas until it meets three international conditions (1). A poll released today shows that a majority of both Palestinians and Israelis are willing to accept a two-state solution (2). President Obama invites leaders of Israel, Egypt, and Palestine to Washington for talks in early June (3). The Economist assesses the state of the U.S. – Israeli relationship under new administrations (4). The first Hamas-licensed bank opens in Gaza (8). Israel demolishes a house in Arab East Jerusalem (9). President Obama meets with Jordan’s King Abdullah and reaffirms his commitment to the two-state solution (14).

April 21st

Israeli Prime Minister denies claims that he demanded recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a precondition for peace talks (1). A wiretap on U.S. Representative Jane Harman allegedly reveals her interceding in an investigation of two pro-Israel lobbyists facing trial on espionage charges (2), though the Congresswoman denies involvement (3). New York Times columnist Richard Cohen comments on the recently released Human Rights Watch report on Hamas’ treatment of political opponents during the Gaza War (4) Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s remarks yesterday at the Durban conference spark controversy (5) (6) (13). Israel and Egypt are set to discuss a new Gaza cease-fire this week (9).

April 20th

Mideast Envoy George Mitchell wraps up his trip to the region by reiterating U.S. support for the Arab Peace Initiative (1) (7). The Jewish Daily Forward examines the controversy over Israeli-operated West Bank quarries (2). A report issued by Human Rights Watch accuses Hamas of killing at least 32 Palestinian political rivals during the Gaza War (4). Analysts warn of a potential increase in West Bank violence (9). The United States reportedly rejects Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people (11). A World Bank report published today finds that, in the West Bank, Israeli settlers get four times more water than Palestinians (13). ATFP Senior Fellow Hussein Ibish condemns anti-Semitic rhetoric in the Khaleej Times (16) and from a speaker at a California University (5).

April 17th

Mideast envoy George Mitchell continues his meetings with Israeli leadership (1) (2), and is set to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today (7). The Washington Post profiles the first-year accomplishments of new Jewish lobby J Street (3), while the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports on J Street's new campus initiative (5). Rahm Emmanuel is reported to have told a Jewish leader that President Obama is determined to see a Palestinian state created in his first term (4). A Palestinian man is shot dead after allegedly trying to stab residents of a West Bank settlement (6), while The Yesha Council of Settlements blames the attack on Israeli cooperation in the efforts to create a Palestinian state (13). A Palestinian protestor in Bilin is killed by the IDF (14).

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