October 14th

President Abbas gives a major address pledging to resume efforts to push the Goldstone report in multilateral institutions and reiterating Palestinian conditions for peace talks. Israeli and Palestinian leaders welcome Pres. Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. Special Envoy George Mitchell reiterates that a Palestinian state must be "contiguous."Israeli forces reportedly demolished a Palestinian home in occupied East Jerusalem. News reports differ as to whether or not Palestinian factions are set to sign an Egyptian brokered reconciliation agreement in coming days, and Hamas reiterates its opposition to new elections. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Israeli officials around the world, Turkey excludes Israel from planned military joint exercises, and Israel has warned Britain against any show of support for the Goldstone report.

October 13th

NOTE: due to Thursday's ATFP Gala, the ATFP world news roundup will resume on Monday, October 19.

The Palestine Investment Fund launches a $220 million housing project in the occupied territories. Israel is considering restricting travel by senior officials fearing arrest as a consequence of the Goldstone report. Hamas claims that it always supported the report and that the organization is "praised" in it. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon supports moves by Pres. Abbas to reopen debate on the report in the UN Human Rights Council. US reportedly tells Egypt that Palestinian reconciliation would undermine negotiations with Israel. Kadima leader Tzipi Livni accuses Prime Minister Netanyahu of "humiliating" the Palestinians, while Netanyahu says combating the Goldstone report is Israel's main priority. An Israeli pornographer uses sex to "promote coexistence." An Israeli embassy spokesman says that J Street "could impair Israel's interests." ATFP President Ziad Asali says Netanyahu's commitment to peace will be tested in coming months.

October 9th

Israelis and Palestinians brace for a tense Friday with increased Israeli restrictions on Palestinian entry to Jerusalem, including Arab citizens of Israel, and calls for a Palestinian "day of rage." US and PA officials urge calm. Ha'aretz outlines the escalation of tensions in Jerusalem, and reports that the US is "furious" about Israeli incitement against Pres. Obama. Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman dismisses any prospects for peace in the near term. A Palestinian unity deal may be signed in late October. The Jerusalem Post analyzes Prime Minister Fayyad's state-building plan. Hussein Ibish argues that calls for a third intifada, the dissolving of the PA, the resignation of Abbas or the removal of Fayyad are irrational and irresponsible.

October 8th

The UN Security Council will debate the Goldstone report on the Gaza war, with the support of the PA, on October 14. Israel's Foreign Minister Lieberman reportedly dismisses the idea of a peace agreement in the near future, but Jordan's King Abdullah warns that there is no future without two states. International promises to rebuild Gaza remain unfulfilled, and Gaza residents may have lost up to $500 million in fraudulent tunnel schemes. Arab commentaries assess the political damage to the PA from the Goldstone affair. Hussein Ibish argues that only a determined de-escalation of tensions can prevent an explosion in the occupied territories, especially East Jerusalem.

October 7th

Tensions continue to mount in occupied East Jerusalem, with the city under "siege." The US calls for calm as fears of an explosion of violence grow. An Israeli Cabinet minister agrees that Jewish extremists are also to blame for Jerusalem tensions. The Washington Post looks at the continued influence of Hamas. Reports suggest that Palestinian President Abbas may have received significant assurances from the United States in return for agreeing to defer debate on the Goldstone report, while PLO leaders say the decision was "a mistake" and Libya has requested a Security Council meeting on the report. The Jerusalem Post reports on efforts by Foreign Minister Lieberman to craft "a new Israeli foreign policy." Hussein Ibish analyzes changes in US foreign policy under the Obama administration, and Paul Salem looks at the lack of Arab diplomacy.

October 6th

Tensions continue to flare in occupied East Jerusalem, with some observers describing the situation as "explosive," and President Abbas accusing Israel of buying up billions of dollars worth of property in the city. Fallout from the deferral of the UN Human Rights Council's debate on the Goldstone report continues, with anger from the Palestinian public, a US denial that it pressured the Palestinian leadership, and a statement of support for the report by Prime Minister Fayyad's cabinet. Hamas arrests militants in Gaza money to fire rockets into Israel. The Arab News looks at Israel's "PA only" visas. Al-Ahram highlights a report on the suppression of nonviolent Palestinian protests against Israel's separation barrier in the occupied West Bank. Richard Falk makes the case for the historical importance of the Goldstone report.

October 5th

The U.N. Human Rights Council postpones its scheduled debate on the Goldstone report into the Gaza war, and Palestinian President Abbas faces an angry backlash for agreeing to the delay. Disturbances between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police at the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount continue, but in spite of warnings from Prime Minister Fayyad analysts do not anticipate an eruption of violence. The Washington Post profiles Palestinian mayor and Brewer David Khoury. The Ma'an news agency outlines Egyptian proposals for Palestinian national reconciliation. Ha'aretz reports that Vice Prime Minister Ya'alon recently canceled a trip to the UK fearing possible arrest for war crimes. UNRWA plans to teach Gaza children about the Holocaust. In the Arab News, ATFP President Ziad Asali argues that Palestinians should trust President Obama.

October 2nd

Reports suggest that the Palestinians have dropped their bid to press action on the Goldstone report into the war in Gaza, but several Palestinian officials deny this, and the Judge Goldstone defends its findings at the National Press Club in Washington. The New York Times Sunday Magazine this weekend will feature a profile of a new Augustinian version of the Sesame Street children's television program. In an interview with the Ma'an news agency, a Hamas leader pledges to maintain the cease-fire with Israel providing it is reciprocated. The UN reports that 20% of Gaza residents now live in "abject poverty." Xinhua examines unsuccessful efforts to bring war crimes charges against Israeli Defense Minister Barak in Britain.

October 1st

Israel agrees to release 20 Palestinian women and girl prisoners in exchange for a video of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The Israeli Air Force again attacks tunnels in southern Gaza after militants launch a project to into southern Israel. VOA profiles Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Speculation continues about the prospects of a third intifada. Prime Minister Netanyahu says Israel will not investigate its conduct during the Gaza war, but several commentators defend the Goldstone report. Nathan Guttman examines new "PA only" visas Israel is issuing mainly to Arab-Americans. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman about Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Hussein Ibish looks at the reasons behind the new US re-engagement in Israel-Palestinian diplomacy.

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.

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