September 15th

A New York Times editorial examines what must be done to push the peace process forward. Mideast Envoy George Mitchell extends his stay in Israel in an effort to strike a final deal with Prime Minister Netanyahu on a settlement freeze, and both President Obama and the PA remain optimistic. Israeli President Peres reportedly meets with Saeb Erekat. An article in Haaretz examines the injustice and dangers of the occupation for both Israelis and Palestinians. A right-wing Israeli is convicted of incitement and sentenced to four months community service. Israeli peace activists criticize US tax exemption for settlement funding. J Street student activists promote pro-peace campus coalitions.

September 14th

A New York Times article examines whether or not Israeli settlers are using the threat of violence as a political strategy. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says differences remain between Israel and the United States, but US Mideast Envoy George Mitchell expresses cautious optimism and Egyptian President Mubarak backs a settlement freeze. The Washington Post profiles the Israeli West Bank settlement of Ariel. National Jewish leaders support President Obama's push for a settlement freeze. Violent clashes erupt between Israeli settlers and Palestinians. The IMF says West Bank economy remains on course to grow about 7 percent this year.

September 11th

An article in the Economist finds that life is improving in the West Bank. Speculation continues regarding prospects for revival of a US-led peace process in the Middle East. Special Mideast envoy George Mitchell is scheduled to visit both Israel and the Palestinian territories this weekend. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mubarak are scheduled to meet in Cairo. Senior Fatah member, Azzam Al-Ahmad, expresses reservations over Egypt’s proposal for Palestinian elections. The severing of ties between the Bank of Israel and Gaza banks has severe repercussion for disabled Palestinian laborers. Israeli Defense Minister Barak urges Israel's left to tone down its criticisms. Police forces of Israel and the Palestinian Authority have reportedly demonstrated increasing cooperation.

September 10th

Articles by ATFP President Ziad Asali and Daoud Kuttab examine Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plan for de facto statehood. The New York Times profiles J Street. Zahi Khouri argues that occupation and economic growth are incompatible. A 2006 letter from captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit adds pressure on Israeli leaders to secure his release. Violent incidents erupt on the Israel-Gaza border. The UN reiterates that Israeli settlements are illegal, and analysis of a possible freeze continues. Commentaries consider a new Palestinian TV satire program and the B’Tselem report on Gaza civilian deaths.

September 9th

Former President Jimmy Carter responds to Elliott Abrams’ criticism of his recent op-ed in the Washington Post. The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem says that Israel underestimated Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza war and that most Palestinians killed were civilians. Israel picks contractors for 486 new settlement homes in occupied East Jerusalem. PLO officials Yasser Abed Rabbo and Saeb Erekat say settlement expansion may terminate the peace process before it begins.Fatah appoints Muhammad Dahlan to an information post. Palestinian citizens of Israel plan to strike on October 1. The Israeli Right pressures the government to reject US demands for a settlement freeze.

September 8th

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, authorizes plans for 455 new housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Former President Jimmy Carter recounts his travels in the occupied territories, and Elliott Abrams responds, both in the Washington Post. Military rabbis are transforming the traditionally secular culture of the IDF. Egypt announces that it will open the Rafah crossing for two consecutive days. Israeli minister Uzi Landau calls the Palestinians "occupiers." Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly visits the capital of an Arab country which does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.

September 4th

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.

September 3rd

US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell reportedly holds constructive talks with Israeli diplomats while US officials say US-Israel relations depend on a settlement agreement, and there is a growing confidence about the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The PA has established a committee to look into allegations of "organ harvesting" by Israeli troops. Reports suggest a steep drop in Israeli settlement construction, but Ha'aretz reports that the Israeli government is considered recognizing the legality of some unauthorized settlement activity. Israel is attempting to rebuild its diplomatic ties to a number of African states. Former Prime Minister Olmert stands accused of swindling Jewish Americans. On the Israel Policy Forum blog, Hussein Ibish explains why he wrote ATFP's new book on the one-state agenda.

September 2nd

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is due to meet with Israeli diplomats today to discuss a possible settlement freeze, but an Israeli cabinet minister says Prime Minister Netanyahu has pledged not to make any such commitment. Palestinian and Israeli ministers hold economic talks in Jerusalem. Amira Hass argues that the outcry over violent crimes in Israel obscures the deeper violence of the occupation. Hamas and Israel continue to bicker over a possible prisoner exchange involving captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. A senior Israeli rabbi declares that Jews who sell land to Arabs are “enemies.” Israeli and West Bank mayors pitch a joint economic development plan. Moment magazine tracks the evolution of Palestinian identity among some Arab citizens of Israel.

September 1st

President Obama hopes to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting, and reportedly has a two-year framework for achieving a peace agreement. A Palestinian teenager has been killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad continues to explain his de facto statehood program, which is supported by both Arab and Israeli commentators. Hamas leaders deny the Holocaust took place, and pledge never to recognize Israel. Ha'aretz reports that Israeli raids in the West Bank have been decreased due to American diplomatic pressure. The National reports that Israeli settlers plan 150 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem.

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