Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef denounces President Obama's efforts to secure a settlement freeze, saying "We are being ruled by slaves," and that, "Our messiah will come and throw them out." (8).The New York Times profiles two ultra-Orthodox Israeli settlements that show signs for potential compromise with Palestine (1). Special Mideast envoy George Mitchell meets with Syrian leadership before heading to Israel (2) (4) (16). Gaza’s top Hamas-appointed judge orders all female lawyers to wear the Muslim head scarf and "cover all except face and hands" when they appear in court (3). The Israeli military reports that there are now over 300,000 settlers in the West Bank (5). Israel prepares a ‘defense brief’ ahead of the expected publication by the UN of two critical reports on the Gaza war (7).Two U.S. Senators circulate a letter urging President Obama to press Arab nations to make peace overtures to Israel (13).

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