Israel plans 1,300 new settlement units in sensitive areas of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, prompting US and Palestinian protests. Daniel Seidemann and Lara Friendman say PM Netanyahu must have approved the plans. Doyle McManus and Yossi Alpher both think Pres. Obama might now emphasize foreign policy goals. UNSG Ban calls for renewed peace efforts. The PA says Shin Bet officers met with Hamas officials. Israel continues to quarrel with the UN over religious sites in the occupied territories. Hamas bans a commemoration of the late Pres. Arafat in Gaza. Jesse Rosenfeld says extremist settlers are now targeting Israeli citizens. Linda Heard says IsraelĀ¹s intransigence is suicidal. Ghassan Khatib says Obama will continue to dictate US policy and Akiva Eldar says he should unveil bold new American peace proposals.

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