July 20th

An Israeli group gives young Palestinians from the West Bank trips to the beach. Israel is pressuring Egypt to help start direct talks, and analysts say the next two weeks are decisive. The EU's foreign policy chief calls for the opening of Gaza borders and is asked by Palestinians to send observers to Jerusalem. An Israeli soldier convicted of shooting a British protester is granted early release. Israel is set to deploy a new anti-rocket system. Israel arrests Hamas members accused of shooting a police officer. Israel denies presenting Egypt with the map of a potential Palestinian state. Residents of the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem say their children live in fear. Gershon Baskin says settlement building is suicidal for Israel. David Newman says Israel needs to revise its security approach. The first internationally-funded development project for Gaza since the Hamas takeover is launched. Carlo Strenger says existential anxiety is why Israel keeps moving to the right. The David Project hires a veteran pro-Israel activist.

July 19th

Hamas enforces a ban on water pipes in Gaza, especially for women. Egyptian Pres. Mubarak urges direct negotiations, and analysts say the parties are preparing for them, but Egyptian officials express pessimism. Israel destroys Palestinian structures in the Jordan Valley. The EU and PA launch a program to rebuild the Gaza economy. A Gaza family struggles to survive in a tent. PM Netanyahu says African immigration is threatening Israel's Jewish character. Akiva Eldar says he wouldn't accept a loyalty oath. Alon Ben-Meir says PM Fayyad deserves all possible support. The PA is moving to end a telecommunications monopoly. The BBC profiles the house-by-house struggle over Jerusalem. A woman in Gaza is killed by Israeli shelling. A controversial nine-year-old video surfaces of PM Netanyahu speaking candidly, and The National says it shows that he is not held back by extremists but is one of them. Raghida Dergham says a regional war might serve Israeli and Iranian interests at Arab expense. Rami Khouri says direct talks are likely to fail. The Arab News says Israel must have defined borders. Hussein Ibish says any solution must reflect the basic interests of all parties.

July 16th

Israel's handling of a Libyan aid ship implements lessons from the Gaza flotilla attack, and the committee investigating it demands documents. A crossing in southern Gaza is due to expand. PLO officials reiterate there will be no direct talks without further progress and call other suggestions “an insult.” Occupation forces demolish two Palestinian homes near Hebron. The Arab League chief is optimistic about negotiations. Future applicants for Israeli citizenship may have to swear allegiance to a “Jewish state.” West Bank economic growth is reflected in expanded car dealerships. Settlers are pushing for a one-state solution with the West Bank. FM Lieberman calls for complete Israeli disengagement with Gaza. Settlers in Jerusalem recruit Israeli children to fight police in the event of the enforcement of a long-delayed court-ordered eviction. 46% of Israelis think Pres. Obama is pro-Palestinian. Israel tells the UN the West Bank is outside its boundaries. Seth Friedman says Israel's hand must be forced on home demolitions. The Independent profiles a Gaza travel agent. Support for Israel among Americans remains very strong. George Hishmeh asks if US policy is stuck until the November elections.

July 15th

The New York Times looks at diminishing hopes for negotiations, and says settlement building has continued apace in spite of the partial moratorium. A Jerusalem home demolition leaves a Palestinian mother and four children homeless. Fatah says conditions are not right for direct talks. A Libyan aid ship to Gaza docks in Egypt and will ship its supplies overland. Israeli police suspect an alleged Jewish terrorist has killed four Palestinians. Ha'aretz says Israeli security is increasingly challenged by Jewish terrorism. Gideon Levy says PM Netanyahu is not being honest with the Israeli public. Special Envoy Mitchell arrives in the region to push for direct negotiations. A former Israeli official says Israel knows it cannot stay in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers are convicted for shooting a bound Palestinian prisoner. British Jews overwhelmingly support a two-state solution. Joseph Kechichian says Lebanon must treat Palestinian refugees better. Daoud Kuttab looks at threats to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. Raja Kamal outlines problems facing Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists looks at a new film about Palestinian nonviolent protests against the occupation.

July 14th

The New York Times profiles the suffering of the people of Gaza under the blockade. Michael Singh says peace in the Middle East will be difficult, but is a win-win scenario. A Palestinian woman is killed and five others injured by Israeli shelling in Gaza, and a 13-year-old boy is shot. The Knesset revokes key parliamentary privileges of a Palestinian MK. The US expresses concern over Israel's destruction of six Palestinian buildings in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli police are delaying the court-ordered evacuation of settlers in Jerusalem. Bradley Burston says Israelis need a Gandhi of their own. The Jerusalem municipality honors convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. Israel tells a Hamas leader to leave Jerusalem or face jail. Nahum Barnea says the ball is now in Pres. Abbas' court, but PM Netanyahu faces grave difficulties. Israel considers allowing Israelis to visit West Bank cities again. The Forward says it's not too late for a two-state solution. Saad bin Tefla says Netanyahu's strategy is succeeding. Ian Buruma says Jewish suffering is no excuse for Israel's behavior. Yossi Alpher says the warmth following the Obama-Netanyahu meeting may be short-lived.

July 13th

Israel's internal military investigation into the flotilla attack finds the killings justified, but That National says nobody is fooled. Israel considers restricting citizenship for certain converts. PLO officials reiterate their conditions for direct negotiations, but pledge no unilateral declaration of independence. Israel demolishes three Palestinian structures in Jerusalem, including an inhabited home. Palestinians emphasize national unity. A poll shows most Palestinians believe proximity talks will fail. US conservatives form a new pro-Israel, pro-occupation organization. Israel approves 32 new settlement homes in occupied East Jerusalem. Israelis fear a “cultural intifada” as Western stars cancel visits. Israel is developing high-tech “remote killing” devices. Hussein Shobokshi says right-wing American groups are funding Jewish terrorism. Ghassan Khatib says that by emphasizing borders and security, only the Palestinians are being serious about peace. Alon Pinkas says Pres. Obama may have to adopt the Clinton parameters for peace.

July 12th

US Presbyterians call on US to suspend aid to Israel until all settlement activity ceases. Pressure builds for direct negotiations. Former Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agree talks should not start from scratch. Libya is the latest country to organize an aid flotilla for Gaza. Israeli society faces increasing challenges from ultra-Orthodox. Philip Smucker points out that the issue of Palestine is a major selling point for terrorists. Pres. Abbas says there must be progress on borders and security before direct talks can begin. Israel's initial investigation into the Gaza flotilla attack cites poor planning. A senior PLO official calls Jerusalem “a time bomb” between the parties. A Palestinian village is to be entirely encircled by the next phase of the West Bank separation barrier. The US asks Syria not to hinder direct negotiations. Israel orders an investigation into the death of a nonviolent Palestinian protester. The head of Israel's internal security visits the West Bank for security coordination talks. Salman Masalha says Gilad Shalit's family should be allowed to visit him. Ahmad Tibi says the situation is worsening for Palestinian citizens of Israel. The BBC profiles a Gaza smuggling millionaire. Palestinian refugees in Syria are talked about their homeland. Raghida Dergham says Pres. Obama needs new strategies in dealing with Israel. ATFP President Ziad Asali warns that if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not resolved in the foreseeable future, it could lead to a holy war.

July 9th

PM Netanyahu vows to “take risks," and says peace is possible within one year if direct talks begin, but Palestinians call this a “ploy.” Roger Cohen looks at the deterioration in Israel-Turkey relations. The UN says the West Bank separation barrier is still harming Palestinians and the Guardian profiles an affected village. A leader of protests against the wall remains incarcerated by Israel. Palestinians expect to face US pressure. Pres. Obama urges Israelis to seize the opportunity for peace. Netanyahu indicates he will not extend the settlement moratorium. About 4 million Palestinians are estimated to be living in the occupied territories. A Fatah leader says there has been no progress in proximity talks. Zeev Sternhell says Israel is losing its moral compass. Israelis expect “confidence building measures” to be enacted shortly. A study suggests a link between trauma and violence in Gaza. The Jerusalem Post welcomes Obama's outreach to Israelis. Zuheir Kseibati says Netanyahu made progress with Obama. George Hishmeh says Obama and Netanyahu should read a new book by Susan Abulhawa. Hussein Ibish looks at the ongoing tensions lurking beneath the smiles at the Obama-Netanyahu meeting.

July 8th

The New York Times hosts a debate on the effect of tax exempt US donations on Israeli settlement activity. Nick Kristof expresses admiration for Israeli human rights activists. Several commentaries praise warmer relations between Pres. Obama and PM Netanyahu. The PA Economy Minister wants better consumer standards. Israel releases a list of goods still banned in Gaza. Reuters thinks Hamas may have weathered the storm of the blockade. Hamas asks Egypt to host a meeting with Fatah leaders. Obama tells Israeli TV that peace is possible but skepticism is justified. Ari Shavit says Netanyahu must take advantage of his present situation or face further difficulties. Netanyahu hints at flexibility on Jerusalem, says he's ready to discuss settlements and believes direct talks are imminent. Jeremy Bowen says behind the theater of goodwill, US-Israel tensions remain. The National and The Arab News do not approve of Obama's handling of Netanyahu, but the Jordan Times says Israel is beginning to bend to international pressure. Meretz USA releases more of its interview with Hussein Ibish.

July 7th

Pres. Obama and PM Netanyahu are upbeat after their White House meeting. Israel is preparing to indict some soldiers for misconduct during the Gaza war. Several commentaries suggest that Pres. Obama has been trying to reassure Israel of US commitments with security in preparation for more pressure on peace moves. Aaron David Miller outlines steps for successful summit. A PA Minister is banned from entering Israel. Hamas arrests alleged collaborators. A reported secret document outlines US-Israeli nuclear cooperation. Two thirds of Palestinians oppose rocket attacks on Israel. Right wing Israeli MKs affirm that Pres. Obama is “still evil.” The JTA asks what the substance behind the meeting really was. Tariq Alhomayed says Israel is using Iran as an excuse not to move forward on peace, and that Iran is using Israel as an excuse for expanding its hegemony. Shlomo Avineri praises Palestinian state and institution building.

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