March 8th

VP Biden arrives in the Middle East. A new book traverses Jewish and Arab narratives. Special Envoy Mitchell formally announces new proximity talks, but PM Fayyad says Israel must abide by its agreements and Palestinians say this is the last chance for negotiations. The PA says its budget deficit will fall in 2010, condemns settlement expansion and backs nonviolent protests in spite of Israeli pressure. Israel issues an "exception" for 112 new settler housing units. The Dubai assassination is having global consequences. Israel warns the PA to crack down on protests. The PA is planning to prevent Palestinians from working to build settlements. The Jordan Times critiques the increasing fundamentalism of Hamas rule in Gaza. Uri Avnery says Israel uses history and archaeology for political purposes. Ghassan Khatib says the international community must get involved in the Middle East peace process.

March 5th

Hamas bans male hairdressers from women's salons, accuses the PA of arresting its members, denies Al Qaeda-like groups are operating in Gaza and says negotiations with Israel are a betrayal of the nation. Zion Evrony looks at how the Irish peace process can inform Middle East peace. The PA sends medicine to Gaza. The Irish Foreign Minister calls the Gaza blockade "medieval and inhumane." 60 Palestinians are injured in clashes at holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem. VP Biden may kick off proximity talks next week, but widespread skepticism remains and Ha'aretz reports that the US has agreed to assign blame for any failure. PLO officials accuse Israel of stalling. Yoel Marcus says PM Netanyahu knows what is needed for peace. Yoni Eshpar looks at the track record of boycotts and sanctions in many contexts. Jewish Americans urge VP Biden to reach out to Israelis. Many Palestinian women have become family breadwinners due to the occupation. Ehud Yaari says a Palestinian-Israeli armistice is urgently required before any final agreement. Ziad AbuZayyad says Palestinians must increasingly adopt the tactic of nonviolent resistance.

March 4th

The Arab League approves proximity talks, which are expected to start soon. Dubai police call for the arrest of PM Netanyahu. Hamas bans men from women's hair salons. UN officials call for easing the Gaza blockade. Israel's High Court approves protests in occupied East Jerusalem. Pres. Peres says PM Netanyahu is being held back on peace by the right wing. The PA consults map experts. Settlers in Sheikh Jarrah sing songs of praise for Baruch Goldstein. Part two of a YNet commentary on prospects for another intifada. A Facebook posting stymies a planned israeli raid in the occupied West Bank. A new organization of Palestinians overseas is formed. Adam Ingram says Hamas must disarm before it can be a partner in peace. Support for Palestinians grows at the UN. Daoud Kuttab critiques Israel's "heritage sites" claim. Osama al-Sharif looks at challenges facing Pres. Abbas.

March 3rd

A UN official condemns the Gaza blockade. PM Netanyahu prevails on Israel's Jerusalem mayor to postpone plans that involve the demolition of Palestinian homes, US praises the move. PA ministries will be linked through electronic networking. A Palestinian accuses Israel of planning 30,000 new settlement units. Pres. Abbas urges Arab states to help protect Jerusalem and the PA denies any strained ties. Israeli forces kill an Islamic Jihad militant in the West Bank. PM Netanyahu says Israel will keep control of the Jordan Valley. Salman Masalha and Jesse Rosenfeld say Israel practices apartheid through both the occupation and within its own borders. Two Israeli commentaries speculate about a new intifada while another accuses PM Fayyad of incitement. Arab states support proximity talks. Israel upgrades the West Bank separation barrier. The Israeli government defends a law prohibiting Palestinians spouses of Israelis from entering Israel. VP Biden meets with Jewish-American leaders.

March 2nd

The assassination in Dubai complicates Israel's efforts at normalization with the Arab world. Richard Cohen says Israel should not be accused of apartheid. Tensions run high after Israel's claim on occupied holy sites, and the EU and the Palestinian Cabinet condemn the move. Sen. John Kerry urges Israel to ease the blockade of Gaza. Hamas faces growing challenges from more extreme Muslim radicals. PLO leaders say US clarifications are not yet sufficient for a resumption of talks. Because of the blockade, Gaza is now an importer of fish. A Hamas leader disowns his son who spied for Israel. Hamas says it is determined to introduce rockets into the West Bank, and says either Jordan or Egypt were responsible for the Dubai assassination. Akiva Eldar says Israel's High Court is abetting "illegal outposts." At the request of PM Netanyahu, Israel's mayor in Jerusalem suspends plans to demolish 20 Palestinian homes in the Silwan neighborhood. The US government condemns plans for new settlement activity in occupied East Jerusalem. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar.

March 1st

Dubai police say an assassinated Hamas operative was drugged and then killed. Two of the suspects may have traveled directly to the United States following the killing. Violence in the occupied territories spreads from Hebron to Jerusalem. Hamas may have been infiltrated by Israeli operatives. The Gaza Rafah border crossing is reopened. The EU says the PA is making "enormous progress" toward statehood. The Palestinian cabinet's weekly meeting is relocated to Hebron. Hamas seeks to extend the detention of a British journalist. Palestinians look for Arab support on proximity talks. Moshe Dayan's widow says Israel does not know how to make peace. Akiva Eldar says no one would accept PM Netanyahu's conditions. Amira Hass profiles Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank. The National and the Arab News denounce Israel's claims on holy sites. Articles in the American Interest look at the history and the legality of settlements, and the state of US-Israel relations.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017