Secretary of State Clinton rejects Israeli claims that the Bush administration secretly agreed to the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank (1) (7), as tension continues over U.S. insistence on a full settlement freeze (2) (8) (13). Four Palestinian militants are killed in a clash with Israeli forces near the Gaza-Israel border (5). Special Mideast Envoy George Mitchell says President Obama wants 'immediate' peace talks between Israel and Palestine (6). Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu plans to deliver a 'major diplomatic speech' soon (10) (14). On, Hussein Ibish argues that now is the time for a real, effective and mainstream coalition for peace in the Middle East (11).

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