In an op-ed for The Guardian, ATFP President Ziad Asali analyzes Salam Fayyad’s blueprint for a de-facto Palestinian state. Prime Minister Netanyahu will reportedly approve the construction of hundreds of new housing units in existing West Bank settlements as a prelude to a building freeze, drawing sharp criticism from many Quarters. President Abbas says that a possible summit meeting with Netanyahu and President Obama depends on "steps that are taken beforehand regarding a settlement construction freeze." Israeli warplanes bomb a tunnel linking the southern Gaza Strip with Israel. Israeli police are deployed in Jerusalem as thousands of Palestinians head to the city for prayers on the second Friday of Ramadan. Hamas leader Khaled Meshal is reportedly planning to finalize a prisoner swap deal involving the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

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