September 30th

Judge Goldstone presents his report into the Gaza war to the UN Human Rights Council. Two Palestinian smugglers are killed by Israeli attacks on tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border, and Prime Minister Fayyad demands an end to Israeli military and settler attacks. Some Palestinians warn of a "third intifada," but Israeli military leaders dismiss the threat. Israel agrees to the rebuilding of a Gaza hospital sponsored by France and Qatar. Hamas agrees to Egyptian proposals for national reconciliation, but has issued undisclosed amendments, and Fatah leaders express skepticism. The Globe and Mail examines the rise of the religious ultra-right in Israel. Israeli and Arab commentators remain sharply divided on the fallout from last week's diplomatic activity in New York, and ATFP President Ziad Asali argues in The National that Palestinians should seize the opportunity presented by President Obama's determination to pursue a peace agreement.

September 29th

As Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, working with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, begin to outline the parameters for permanent status negotiations, reports suggest that the PLO may have dropped its insistence on a complete Israeli settlement freeze as a precondition. Fallout from the Goldstone Report into the Gaza war continues, with Israel reportedly threatening to block Palestinian cell phone development over calls for an IIC investigation. The Christian Science Monitor examines the role of the Golan Heights in Israel-Syria negotiations. Hamas leaders say Palestinian factions are close to agreeing to Egyptian proposals for reconciliation. Palestinian families in Britain seek the arrest of Israeli Defense Minister Barak on war crimes charges.

September 28th

Tensions escalate following violent clashes between Muslim worshipers and Israeli riot police at the Haram al-Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem. Hamas reiterates its opposition to agreed-upon elections in January, and says that it is preparing a final reply to Egyptian national unity proposals. Turkey will push the Security Council to examine the Goldstone Report into the Gaza war, and Palestinian citizens of Israel that protested the Gaza war continue to face detention and house arrest. Fallout from last week's diplomatic activities continues, with analysts deeply divided over whether Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu outmaneuvered President Obama or now finds himself in an even more difficult situation facing permanent status negotiations.

September 25th

In a new poll Palestinians express overwhelming support for a two-state peace agreement with Israel, and strong majority support for President Abbas and the PA, but with a substantial minority expressing sympathy for Hamas. US officials say negotiating talks are on track, although Palestinians and the Middle East Quartet continue to insist on a settlement freeze. In the Los Angeles Times, Aaron David Miller questions whether President Obama has the will to break through the Middle East stalemate. Israeli occupation authorities in Gaza announce they will longer deal with human rights groups, as a Palestinian is killed in a tunnel collapse and UNRWA calls for more aid to refugees. Arab and Israeli commentators continue to examine the fallout from the tripartite UN meeting and President Obama's subsequent speech.

September 24th

American, Israeli and Arab commentators continue to analyze the tripartite meeting at the UN on Tuesday, with most evaluations being largely negative. The Washington Post highlights the difficulties in framing permanent status talks between Israel and the Palestinians. There are contradictory reports as to whether Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will speak directly next week or only to their American counterparts, and whether or not the US will seek to block implementation of the Goldstone report into the Gaza war. Israeli and Palestinian officials continue to blame each other for lack of progress. The Globe and Mail examines recently released Geneva Accord documents. Right-wing MKs say Prime Minister Netanyahu "celebrated prematurely" before President Obama's UN speech. Hussein Ibish makes the case that the speech significantly strengthens the Palestinian hand going into negotiations.

September 23rd

President Obama expresses frustration with both the Israeli and Palestinian sides and stresses “urgency” at the UN meeting. US administration shifts focus from settlements to permanent status talks. A Washington Post editorial examines the high expectations set by the Obama administration while speculation continues over the President's ability to restart negotiations. Haaretz looks at the relationship between President Obama’s demands and the position of the PA. Prime Minister Fayyad claims he has won broad international support for his plan for "de facto statehood." Hussein Ibish argues that President Obama has doubled down and not backed down on Middle East peace.

September 22nd

Expectations are generally low in the run-up to today's UN meeting between presidents Obama and Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu, although Ha'aretz reports that the United States is pushing for substantive achievement of some kind. Prime Minister Fayed attends Eid prayers in the West Bank village of Bil’in, and The Nation profiles its nonviolent protests against Israel's separation barrier. A Palestinian man is shot by Israeli troops near Bethlehem. Fallout continues from the UN commission of inquiry into the Gaza war, as Judge Goldstone defends his findings in the Jerusalem Post. Hussein Ibish considers objections from both Arabs and Jews to his observation that Israel and Hamas reacted to the Goldstone report with strikingly similar logic and language.

September 21st

President Obama is scheduled to meet Tuesday with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas at the UN, and Laura Rozen in Politico examines the stakes for all parties. Hamas leaders attack President Abbas’ legitimacy as the representative of the Palestinian people. A Washington Post op-ed by Steven Walt argues that Israel's government is not interested in a two-state agreement, while another by Jackson Diehl suggests the war in Gaza was actually a "success" for Israel. Israeli shelling leaves two Palestinians dead and three others injured in the northern Gaza Strip, while Israel also bombs smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza. Text messaging helps Palestinians combat unemployment in the West Bank. Raghida Dergham argues that President Obama's domestic problems are playing into the hands of Israel and Iran.

September 18th

Mideast Envoy George Mitchell extends his stay in the Middle East as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosts an Iftar at the State Department. The Washington Post examines human rights abuses arising from the divide between Fatah and Hamas. The US rejects a compulsory investigation into the Gaza war. The LA Times runs commentaries for and against the Goldstone Report. The head of a Gaza charity urges the PA to freeze its accounts after an alleged takeover by Hamas. Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to face a difficult diplomatic atmosphere at upcoming meeting of the UN General Assembly and Palestinian sources are now saying that a three-way summit is "unlikely."

September 17th

In the New York Times Judge Goldstone offers his own analysis of his commission's report into the war in Gaza. Israel rejects the report’s recommendation for an independent investigation. Articles in Haaretz criticize the denial of allegations and evaluate the potential advantages of an inquiry. Mideast Envoy George Mitchell is scheduled to return to the region Friday for talks. Actors from a popular Palestinian political satire show meet with Prime Minister Fayyad. NPR highlights the hardships created by the intra-Palestinian conflict for a young engaged couple. Removal of 100 West Bank roadblocks begins. IDF soldiers allegedly beat a Palestinian man. Debate over Israeli PR strategy is prompted by controversy at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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