April 30th

Roger Cohen profiles PM Fayyad, and Time magazine lists him in its top 100 most influential people in the world. Fayyad calls for lifting the siege of Gaza. A cosmetics company ceases operating in Israeli settlements. Sec. Clinton says Arab states should do more on peace. Pres. Abbas says the US has pledged to stop Israeli provocations, and US officials reportedly promise not to veto a Security Council resolution if further settlement activity occurs in Jerusalem. Tzvia Greenfield says Israel must make peace if it wants to survive. Pres. Obama has reportedly said that if talks are still stalemated in the fall, he will call an international conference. Israelis worry that settler violence is spinning out of control. Jordan's King Abdullah says Israel is playing with fire. Israelis are concerned Palestinians will seek UN recognition of a state. The State Department says Israel must remove unauthorized outposts. Some Palestinians urge Pres. Abbas to appoint a deputy. The UN distributes laptop computers to Gaza students. Divestment bills do not pass in two California universities. Tariq Alhomayed asks when Arab tolerance for Hamas will end. ATFP President Ziad Asali outlines new nonviolent Palestinian strategies for independence.

April 29th

The New York Times contrasts the Washington trips of DM Barak and Jerusalem Mayor Barakat. Nonviolent protests are spreading among Palestinians. Another leftist opposition group condemns Hamas tax policies. Hamas accuses Egypt of causing the deaths of tunnel workers. Israeli troops kill a Palestinian protester in a "no go area." The PA says Israel is helping settlers seize Palestinian land. Settlers are briefly arrested after violent attacks on Palestinians. The PA urges Palestinians to stop using Israeli cell phone providers. Interior Minister Yishai is invited to visit the White House. Residents of Silwan present a plan to prevent the demolition of their homes. D. Bloomfield says both Israel and the Palestinians want peace, but with the Obama administration and not each other. Larry Derfner says Israel won't budge on its own. Gideon Rachman says Israelis may hate and fear Pres. Obama, but his policies are in their interests. Jewish American leaders express satisfaction with administration outreach. A commentary from Middle East Progress urges flexibility and perseverance on peace. Elliott Abrams says US policy has undermined the Palestinian leadership. George Hishmeh says PM Netanyahu must choose between political expediency and Israel's national interests. Michael Jansen replies to Aaron David Miller.

April 28th

Israeli officials disagree about the reason for a lull in Jerusalem settlement activity. As nonviolent Palestinian protests spread, Israel uses new crowd dispersal weapons. Israel expels a fourth Palestinian from the West Bank to Gaza. Palestinian children are reportedly beaten by settlers. Opposition groups warn Hamas its policies may lead to a revolt. Israeli officials predict negotiations within two weeks, but Palestinians say it's too soon. The PA bans Palestinian laborers from working in settlements, but will not fine them. Israeli troops dismantle makeshift settler structures in the West Bank. A Ha'aretz report compares the present situation with the one that led to the 1973 war. Pres. Sarkozy says PM Netanyahu's "foot dragging" on peace is "unacceptable." The Israeli government may be quietly pushing for a "provisional" Palestinian state. US officials say comments by Israel's mayor in Jerusalem undermine peace talks. Israeli officials say they will not honor their commitment to dismantle settlement outposts. Rami Khouri says US Middle East policy is still driven by domestic politics.

April 27th

Pres. Abbas signals willingness on proximity talks. Roger Cohen sees reasons for hope. Lara Friedman and Daniel Seidemann list the top 10 myths on settlement activity promoted by Israel's Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who is interviewed by the LA Times. Two Palestinian children are being tried in a military court for stonethrowing. Abbas issues a decree banning settlement goods. Israel reprimands soldiers in "avoidable" deaths of four Palestinians. Palestinian girls participate in Intel's youth science fair. AP profiles PM Fayyad's new brand of politics. More reports suggest Israel has instituted a de facto settlement freeze in Jerusalem, and has demolished 10 settler houses. Palestinians agree to reshuffle the cabinet. Bradley Burston says hating Pres. Obama is becoming a religion in Israel. Haggai Alon says the siege of Gaza spurs Muslim anger.

April 26th

Israeli extremists stage a provocative rally in occupied East Jerusalem. Indirect negotiations may begin soon. Israel is continuing to impede Palestinian access to a West Bank highway. Efforts are underway to preserve Gaza's antiquities. A Hamas fighter is killed by Israeli forces. Hamas issues an animated video of a captured Israeli soldier. Israeli officials say that despite claims to the contrary PM Netanyahu has ordered a settlement freeze in Jerusalem. Pres. Abbas will meet Pres. Obama soon. Sen. Schumer and ADL leader Foxman join the chorus of condemnation against the administration's Israel policies. The Guardian says Netanyahu may be counting on a Republican victory in November. The US military is united in its conviction that lack of peace is major strategic problem. The National is skeptical about proximity talks. The Arab News and Abdullah Al Shayji call for major changes in US policy. Ghassan Khatib Says the occupation is the ultimate incitement.

April 23rd

Roger Cohen says Israel is driven by deep but groundless fears. Hamas still preaches resistance but is criticized by more extreme groups for suppressing anti-Israel activity. Several Israeli leaders hint at an unannounced settlement freeze in occupied East Jerusalem, and PM Netanyahu suggests territorial compromise on Arab neighborhoods and a Palestinian state with "temporary borders." Hamas says Palestinians expelled from the West Bank will not be allowed into Gaza. Palestinians say a settler rally is a "provocation." Special Envoy Mitchell meets DM Barak, as Israel offers "gestures" to the Palestinians. The UN says the recent easing of the Gaza blockade shows more can be done. Yossi Verter says Israel cannot avoid US pressure. The Forward condemns intimidation against Judge Goldstone. Patrick Seale looks at the rise of religious fanaticism in the Israeli military. George Hishmeh says Israel is in danger of becoming a pariah state.

April 22nd

Daniel Terris says personal attacks on Judge Goldstone don't help Israel. Israeli peace activists promote new flag. Palestinians deny Pres. Abbas' health is failing. The Israeli military will investigate reports of the use of human shields. The PA pledges to stop Palestinians working in settlement construction. Special Envoy Mitchell is returning to the region. Projectiles fired toward Israel land in Jordan. The Israeli military arrests 24 Palestinians in the West Bank, expels a former prisoner to Gaza. PM Fayyad vows to step up popular resistance. NSA Jones warns lack of peace is strengthening Iran. Akiva Eldar says Pres. Obama has offered PM Netanyahu a gentleman's agreement on Jerusalem, but Israel says settlement activity will continue anyway. Settlers promote tourism in the occupied territories. WJC President Ron Lauder again criticizes Pres. Obama, and Israeli extremists burn the President in effigy. Protesters condemn an attack on a Palestinian woman in Jaffa. Jewish Americans worry about accusations of "dual loyalty." Daoud Kuttab says the US has determined that Israel is primarily to blame for the Mideast peace impasse.

April 21st

Martin Indyk says PM Netanyahu must choose between confronting his right wing or the US president, and that when Israel can go it alone, it can decide things on its own. FM Lieberman says an "imposed solution" would provoke violence. Hamas burns recreational drugs, taxes cigarettes. The PA denies reports of an upcoming peace summit. US officials strongly criticize an ad saying Jerusalem is beyond politics. Bradley Burston says Israel must be freed of the occupation. YNet interviews PM Fayyad on state-building and nonviolent protests. The Israeli military complains about settler violence, prepares for a West Bank pullback. The New Israel Fund gets more donations in the wake of intense criticism. American Jewish leaders are criticizing the administration in public, but defending it in private. Israeli and Palestinian villagers build relationships across the Green Line. Rahm Emanuel says there is no US peace plan. The UN says Palestinian armed factions in Lebanon are a threat to regional stability. Bret Stephens says the US should leverage Israeli concerns about Iran for progress on settlements. Rashid Khalidi says Israel is acting in bad faith in Jerusalem.

April 20th

Israel enjoys a somber 62nd Independence Day. Richard Cohen says Pres. Obama should reach out to the Israeli people. Hamas leaders say they will never recognize Israel, vow more executions and threaten to capture more Israeli soldiers. Gaza merchants complain of unreasonable Hamas taxes. PM Fayyad prepares to reshuffle his cabinet. Israel seeks to cut off funding for Palestinian nonviolent protests. Avishai Margalit urges lifting the siege of Gaza. The PA prepares to fight West Bank deportations. DM Barak says Palestinians will rule themselves "whether you like it or not." Bilal Hassen says Pres. Obama has backed down. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad. Linda Heard says Israel may start a war in Lebanon for political reasons. Murad Bustami says violence is counterproductive for Palestinians. Foreign Policy seeks a variety of views on why Middle East peace has failed thus far. Aaron David Miller says peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not possible under current circumstances.

April 19th

ATFP President Ziad Asali says Palestinians are developing a new diversified and peaceful strategy for liberation. Jackson Diehl says Palestinian-Israeli peace is not achievable under present conditions. Menachem Begin's grandson critiques national identities. Al Qaeda-style fanatics in Gaza claim 11,000 followers. DM Barak expresses concern about rift with the United States, says occupation must end. Israel seals the occupied West Bank for two days. Pres. Peres urges faith in peace. The PA denies Israel is to transfer more territory to its control. Pres. Abbas urges Palestinian prisoners to promote national unity. YNet says even PM Fayyad's harshest critics are giving him credit. Ari Shavit urges Netanyahu to act before it is too late. Akiva Eldar says Israel is turning its back on the Arab Peace Initiative. Shlomo Avineri asks what would happen if Palestinians declared statehood. Tariq Alhomayed says the onus for national reconciliation is on Hamas. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid says Netanyahu's policies are strengthening the Arab position. The Jordan Times says Israel is escalating tensions. IPS interviews Ziad Abuzayyad.

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