In an interview with the Middle East Bulletin, Palestinian journalist Taghreed El-Khoudary describes the current situation in the Gaza Strip as “very depressing.” The UN again calls for easing of Gaza blockade in order to help rebuild Palestinian schools. In the midst of ongoing settlement construction, frustration mounts over continued Israeli resistance to calls for a settlement freeze, including from Israeli commentators. The Israeli organization Peace Now launches an ad campaign saying that the occupation threatens the survival of Israel. The US requests greater cooperation from the Arab states on the peace process, particularly a willingness for diplomatic overtures towards Israel in response to a potential settlement freeze. Factional tensions rise between the Palestinians ahead of Fatah’s first party congress in two decades.

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