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.

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