An aide to Pres. Abbas explains his conditions for resuming negotiations, and Palestinians say they are studying new US proposals for lower-level talks. PM Netanyahu plants trees in a settlement, settlers use tents to skirt the moratorium, and a Ha'aretz commentary says only an idiot would say Israel has frozen settlement activity. Israel confirms it will not set up an independent inquiry into its Gaza war conduct, but the PA establishes a committee to look into allegations about its own conduct. DM Barak says Israel's lack of an agreement with the Palestinians is a greater threat than Iranian nuclear weapons. Palestinians seek closer ties to Saudi Arabia. A diplomatic dispute intensifies over treatment of official US cars at checkpoints in the occupied territories. Sami Abdel-Shafi says Palestinians will return to negotiations, but with no expectations. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman says because of the occupation Israel is in danger of ceasing to be Jewish and democratic.

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