The LA Times profiles the evolution of a play about an Israeli and Palestinian gay couple. Hamas demands Fatah apologize to the Palestinian people for peace negotiations. Fatah calls for the escalation of nonviolent protests. PM Fayyad joins a Land Day protest. A senior Fatah official arrested at a protest refuses to appear before an Israeli court in solidarity with others. Ha'aretz reports that the US is seeking a four-month settlement freeze in occupied East Jerusalem in exchange for direct negotiations, and editorializes that only a serious Israeli peace proposal can forestall an imposed settlement. French Pres. Sarkozy condemns Israeli settlement activity in occupied East Jerusalem. A Passover-themed YNet commentary compares Pres. Obama to "Pharaoh," a "dictator/king," calls him "hard-hearted" and describes Sec. Clinton as "hysterical." Alon Ben-Meir says the fundamentals of the US-Israel relationship have changed. The pro-Israel lobby presses Congress to soften Obama's tough stance on Netanyahu. Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler look at possible future scenarios. Scott McConnell says Pres. Obama should and may treat Israel like any other country.

March 30th

Roger Cohen says the Middle East is starting to change. Israeli ministers reiterate determination to settle occupied East Jerusalem, call US demands "irritating." Rachel Corrie's parents persist in Israel lawsuit. Israeli troops kill Palestinian child, injure several other protesters. A new survey finds 55% of settlers are in Jerusalem. Gaza banks go on strike after Hamas gunmen seize cash in daylight heist. The PA approves $3.9 billion 2007 budget. Akiva Eldar says Israelis are suffering from a plague of darkness. Thousands attend Land Day ceremonies. A court orders more arguments on whether the PLO and the PA are liable for a Hamas terrorist attack. Israel agrees to allow a shipment of clothes and shoes into Gaza. Malcolm Hoenlein says Pres. Obama must do more to mend ties with Israel. British MPs say UK weapons not used in the occupied territories. An Israeli journalist is reportedly being held in secret house arrest for leaking details of Israeli assassinations. Ron Kampeas outlines the present state of the US-Israel confrontation, and analysts say Arab states have failed to take advantage. Tariq Alhomayed says the Arabs must not allow Iranian clients like Hamas to exploit the situation. The Arab News says Pres. Obama should make sure Israel understands the cost of its policies.

March 29th

The New York Times says the confrontation over settlements reveals deeper US-Israel rifts, and calls the administration's attitude "refreshing." Tom Friedman says peace is considered a necessity by the US but a hobby by Israel. Arab leaders consider their options. The Christian Science Monitor says PM Netanyahu faces growing challenges on many fronts. Politico reports on deep divisions within the administration. Israeli settlers have taken over the front of a Palestinian home. A new poll shows Israelis concerned about their international reputation. At the urging of the PA, the Arab League reiterates commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative. Israeli officials are concerned the US may impose a settlement. David Landau says Israel is sliding towards McCarthyism and racism. Gideon Levy says Israel should thank Pres. Obama for acting like a true friend. Alon Pinkas says Obama is pro-Israel. PM Netanyahu denounces attacks against Pres. Obama by his allies in the Israeli media. Israeli posters call for the elimination of the Haram al-Sharif. The PA fires hundreds of Hamas-linked educators. The BBC says the US is considering not vetoing a UN resolution on Jerusalem.

March 26th

PM Netanyahu finds himself caught between his coalition partners and the United States, but no agreement has been reached. In spite of the ongoing controversy, the US and Israel sign a major arms deal and Israelis say Gen. Petraeus affirms defense links. Julian Kossoff says Jewish American support for Obama in the confrontation is heartening. The LA Times profiles the Palestinian security forces. Christopher Hazou says Israel has glorified terrorists. The Boston Globe Supports Sec. Clinton's "tough love" for Israel. Occupation authorities are preparing to allow Palestinians to use a major West Bank highway. Yossi Verter says Netanyahu needs to shape up before relations with the US get worse, but Akiva Eldar says it's too late. Palestinians say the US has asked Israel to cede control of more West Bank areas to the PA. Arab foreign ministers pledge $500 million to support Palestinians in Jerusalem. Time asks if it is too late to share Jerusalem. Lara Friedman and Daniel Seidemann explain the top six bogus excuses for East Jerusalem settlement expansion.

March 25th

Israel confirms building of 20 new settler housing units in occupied East Jerusalem could begin "at any time," as the White House continues to seek "clarification." Administration officials have reportedly asked Israel for a series of measures, outlined by Nathan Guttman, but there has yet to be any agreement. PM Netanyahu says progress has been made but he needs approval of his cabinet colleagues. The Arab League may discuss a withdrawal of the Arab Peace Initiative. PLO officials slam Israel's settlement actions. Reuters interviews PIF chief Mohammad Mustafa. Aluf Benn says Netanyahu leaves Washington disgraced, isolated and weaker. A Labor minister says Israel's governing coalition may have to change. A new survey shows Kadim growing in popularity. Seth Freedman says settlements come at a huge price to Israel. George Hishmeh says Pres. Obama has more leverage with Netanyahu because of his health care victory. The National says Netanyahu has miscalculated, and Michael Young says Israel is losing the battle of narratives.

March 24th

PM Netanyahu concludes a tense visit to Washington with two lengthy and highly confidential meetings with Pres. Obama, but insists settlement building will go forward. The Washington Post says the confrontation has demonstrated the limits of American power. Britain expels an Israeli diplomat over the misuse of UK passports in the Dubai assassination. Robert Wright says the term "anti-Israel" is being abused. Gen. Petraeus has reportedly asked for the West Bank and Gaza to be included in CENTCOM's remit. The PA says there will be no negotiations if Israel is building settlements, and Israel threatens to delay talks for up to a year. Israel is investigating the killing of two Palestinian youths. An Israeli court rules that settlers may fire into the air to disperse unarmed Palestinians. All discussions in Israel's Jerusalem Regional Planning and Building Committee on settlement activity have been frozen. Hussein Ibish says Palestinians benefited from the US-Israel confrontation. Rami Khouri says more than rhetoric is needed from Washington. Mel Frykberg questions the morality of the Israeli military.

March 23rd

The AIPAC convention dominates coverage: PM Netanyahu takes a hard line on Jerusalem settlements, but so does Sec. Clinton and the LA Times says she's right; US and Israeli officials seek to lower tensions; David Horovitz says Israel is blundering towards disaster in its relations with the US. Britain expels an Israeli diplomat over the Dubai assassination. A new anticorruption website is a headache for the PA. Access to clean water, sewage is a growing problem in Gaza. Palestinians say a leader of nonviolent protests has been tortured in an Israeli prison. The PA cabinet vows no return to violence. A settler leader hopes to triple the Israeli population of the occupied territories. American officials will convey Israeli responses to Palestinian negotiators this week. Akiva Eldar says a strong Obama is good for Israel. A new study says most settlers are attracted for economic reasons. Hassan Barari says it's time for Arab action. Ezzedine Choukri Fishere says Europe should make Israel pay an "occupation tax."

March 22nd

Both Washington and Tel Aviv claim success in the recent standoff over settlements. Jackson Diehl blames Pres. Abbas for lack of progress, but Stephen Walt blames the pro-Israel lobby. Tensions rise in the occupied territories as at least four Palestinians are killed by Israeli forces, the official version of events is heavily challenged, and the US urges restraint. Strains in the US-Israel relationship are evident in Sec, Clinton's speech at AIPAC. Palestinians say they're looking for a complete settlement freeze before returning to talksm and the EU calls for such a freeze.. UNSG Ban decries the Gaza blockade, The PA distributes aid to the poor and needy. A play in Gaza raises rare criticisms of Hamas. Abbas reiterates Palestinians have a right to resist occupation. A Ha'aretz analysis says there is a danger of another uprising. ATFP Advocacy Director Ghaith Al-Omari warns that Palestinians may be the next to face US pressure. The Arab News says the US faces a final opportunity for peace progress.

March 19th

Fallout from the settlement controversy continues: PM Netanyahu proposes confidence building measures with Palestinians; Special Envoy Mitchell will return to the region; Charles Krauthammer says Pres. Obama is picking on Israel but the Christian Science Monitor says settlements threaten world security; the Quartet calls for a Palestinian state within two years; most Israelis see Pres. Obama as friendly and fair; Anshel Pfeffer says Netanyahu has lost this fight and Doron Rosenblum says he is trying to please his father; Susie Becher says Israelis have to face the fact that dominating all Jerusalem and peace are incompatible; JJ Goldberg says the confrontation was inevitable; the journal of Shas calls present Obama "a stone throwing Palestinian." Israeli forces bomb Gaza. Palestinians say they're going to try to reduce dependence on Western training. Israel's Foreign Ministry is concerned it is being branded an apartheid state. The US imposes sanctions on Hamas-related organizations. The ADL slams Gen. David Petraeus for suggesting Israeli policies harm US interests, but Alan Philps says the US military in general is taking a harder line towards Israel.

March 18th

Coverage continues to focus on the US-Israel settlement controversy: the US may be rethinking negotiation plans; the New York Times says the administration see an opportunity; Israel rejects US demands to limit construction in Jerusalem, but reports suggest an unannounced freeze may be imminent; Pres. Obama and Israeli Amb. Michael Oren both say there is not a crisis; Mustafa Barghouti says Palestinians should not stay on the sidelines; the Christian Science Monitor says the US must keep up the pressure; a Ha'aretz commentary says Israel needs tough love; Arabs say hopes in Obama are dwindling; Osman Mirghani says Arabs should take advantage of this opening; Francis Matthew says the issue is not just future building but existing settlements. The Forward looks of assertions that Israel's policies are threatening US interests. A rocket fired from Gaza kills a Thai worker in southern Israel, among claims of responsibility include an Al Qaeda-like organization. The first planned Palestinian city in the West Bank gets a US government grant. A Ha'aretz editorial says Israel's closure of West Bank nonviolent protest villages is an attack on free speech. Ali Jarbawi says the PA state and institution building program shows Palestinians are serious.

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