Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is indicted on three counts of corruption. The Israeli Air Forces launches an air strike on Gaza. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will not participate in any peace talks until Israel agrees to a full settlement freeze, while EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana says Israel and the US are working on the technical aspects of a deal and may agree by mid-September. Hamas has hinted that Fatah officials who were in the West Bank for the party congress might not be allowed reentry to Gaza. Israel opens all three border crossings with Gaza today for commercial shipments and humanitarian aid.

August 28th

The State Department confirms that it is holding firm on the policy of no new Israeli settlements, while Palestinian leadership insists that a full settlement freeze is a preconditions for new peace talks and the Israeli government confirms there has been no agreement on settlements with the US. The New York Times looks at the long history of non-violent civil disobedience in the West Bank village of Bilin. The Toronto Star examines how new construction of Jewish homes in Arab East Jerusalem is harming urban relations. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to tour a number of Arab and European countries before the end of the year. Hamas chief Khaled Meshal is reportedly planning to fly to Cairo next week to approve a possible deal that includes the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

August 27th

The Jewish Daily Forward analyzes movement towards an Israeli settlement freeze. Reuters reports that despite recent growth trends the West Bank's economy cannot thrive in an environment of strict mobility restrictions. Two Palestinian families in Jerusalem's Old City are forced to demolish their own homes. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris next week. The US has reportedly agreed to exclude East Jerusalem from formal negotiations on a settlement freeze. Israeli group Peace Now files a petition to halt the construction of 15 permanent structures in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Netafim. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met earlier today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

August 26th

The parliament of the PLO convenes in the West Bank for its first meeting in more than 10 years. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met in London today with US Envoy George Mitchell but failed to come to an agreement on a settlement freeze. The U.S. government is reportedly considering an Israeli proposal for a Palestinian state with 'temporary' borders. Palestinian Authority sources say that President Abbas is open to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the meeting of the United Nations next month. The BBC looks at the dilemma faced by Palestinian workers employed in Israeli settlement construction.

August 25th

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announces that the Palestinian Authority intends to create a de facto state by 2011. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues his diplomatic meetings in Europe, meeting earlier today with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. An Israeli airstrike on a tunnel between Gaza and Egypt kills three Palestinians. The US State Department announces that it is approaching an agreement on the renewal of negotiations between Israel and the PLO. Fatah proposes a three-month truce with rival Hamas. The Independent looks at how the West Bank town of Nablus is flourishing under eased Israeli restrictions.

August 24th

Israeli plans to construct 104 new housing units in the Palestinian East Jerusalem area Ras al-Amud draw swift reactions. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu heads to London for talks with U.S. Special Mideast Envoy George Mitchell and European heads of government. Reports from Gaza say that Hamas is enforcing a conservative religious dress code on all school girls. Controversy continues over the publication of an article in Swedish paper Aftonbladet accusing the Israeli army of "harvesting" organs from Palestinians during the Gaza war. An op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by Sam Bahour urges Israel to allow more Palestinian economic development in the West Bank.

August 21st

The US State Department formally objects to new, discriminatory visas being issued by Israel, mainly to Palestinian Americans. The JTA reports that in the next few weeks the Obama administration will "finalize the steps" for new peace in the next few weeks, as the President discusses the issue with the Jordanian monarch and Israel and the Palestinians exchange blame for the deadlock. A new poll suggests that only 12 percent of Israelis believe Obama supports Israel. Leonard Fein in the Forward and Rami Khouri in the Daily Star both reassert the urgency of a two-state agreement. The National profiles Uri Davis, the Jewish Israeli elected to Fatah’s Revolutionary Council. Ma’an reports that Muhammad Dahlan will have no responsibilities related to Gaza in his new role in Fatah and that a woman, a Christian and a Gazan are to be appointed to the Central Committee.

August 20th

The Washington Post reports Israel's controversial West Bank separation barrier may remain uncompleted. The U.S. strongly criticizes increased Israeli restrictions on West Bank access for foreign nationals, especially Arab Americans. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu denounces Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alons derogatory remarks about American and Israeli anti-settlement groups, especially Peace Now. Several articles offer analyze the spate of violence between Hamas and Al-Qaeda-style extremist groups in Gaza. Controversy continues over an article published in the Swedish paper Aftonbladet accusing Israeli soldiers of stealing the organs of Palestinians during the war in Gaza.

August 19th

After meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak yesterday, President Obama voices his optimism about the peace process, but says it is stuck in "a rut." Polls show that Israelis support Prime Minister Netanyahu's resistance to a full settlement freeze, though he has reportedly suspended West Bank settlement construction. Washington Jewish lobby J Street unveils plan for a grassroots effort to engage U.S. citizens. Amira Hass reports on increased Israeli restrictions on Palestinian-Canadian businessmen and other travelers to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. In an op-ed for the Financial Times Shai Feldman and Gilead Sher argue for a revival of the Arab Peace Initiative.

August 18th

Israeli officials have reportedly agreed to a temporary moratorium on West Bank settlement construction activity, outraging Jewish settlers. A poll released yesterday finds that Palestinians prefer Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party over Hamas. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets today with President Obama in Washington to discuss the Middle East peace initiative. Analysis of the newly elected Fatah leadership continues. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency profiles the new Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. Politico reports that Israelis are voicing increasing disappointment in President Obama's Jewish chief-of-staff, Rahm Emanuel.

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