Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with Special Mideast envoy George Mitchell in New York yesterday (1) (16), as tension continues over efforts to secure an Israeli settlement freeze (6) (7) (12) (17) (18). As violence in the West Bank subsides, the Occupied Territories experience a marked economic upswing (2). The Christian Science Monitor looks at how the Israeli naval blockade is impacting Gaza (3), as the IDF intercepts another ad hoc aid ship (5). Cairo extends the deadline for an agreement in national accord talks between Hamas and Fatah (9). The first movie theater in twenty years opens in the West Bank town of Nablus (10). The Palestinian Authority accuses Israel of planning to expropriate an additional 2% of the West Bank (13).

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