Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits Jerusalem in an effort to diffuse tensions over Israel’s policies toward Iran. Meanwhile, US envoy George Mitchell meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, then with Palestinian President Abbas, to discuss the peace process, declaring that “everyone must take steps, some of them difficult, some of them controversial.” Prominent American Jewish leaders speak out about their July 13 meeting with President Obama. In Congress, Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Ed Royce (D-Calif.)are soliciting signatories to a letter to the Saudi king asking him to “step forward with a dramatic gesture toward Israel.” As the IDF refutes claims that it is planning to evacuate outposts in the West Bank, settler activists announce their intent to build 11 more.

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