Hussein Ibish says Palestinians are quietly building their state. Israel plans to ease the land blockade of Gaza. Hamas calls it a "trick" and the PLO "insufficient." In July, Presbyterians will vote on a report that condemns Israeli policies in the occupied territories. The UN says last year Israel removed 20% of West Bank checkpoints. US lawmakers harshly criticize Turkey, seek terrorism status for flotilla group. Pres. Abbas says the US and Palestinian positions on peace are virtually identical. Fatah says completely lifting the siege is linked to national reconciliation. Israel prevented a prominent Palestinian journalist from accompanying Abbas on his recent US trip. Ari Shavit says PM Netanyahu and DM Barak need to take urgent steps. Turkey may downgrade relations with Israel. Syrian Pres. Assad says a war is now likely. Larry Derfner says Israel should help PA statebuilding. Official Canadian support for Israel is growing. Arab states are urged to meet aid commitments to the Palestinians. Osman Mirghani says Jews should help Israel develop sounder policies. Michael Jansen calls Israel's flotilla commission a sham.

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