The Fatah conference votes another term for President Mahmoud Abbas as party chief, and embraces the strategic goal of peace based on two states, further distancing itself from rival party Hamas. Israeli jets bomb a tunnel on the Gaza-Egypt border. Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai calls for continued settlement construction in the controversial “E-1 corridor” in occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinian sources report that progress has been made on the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Prime Minister Netanyahu calls the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza “a mistake,” and vows not to remove settlers from the West Bank. Thomas Friedman produces a second article about Palestinian economic development in the West Bank, this time focusing on the new security services.

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