June 21st

The US Administration and the Quartet welcome Israel's decision to ease the blockade of Gaza and Palestinian President Abbas calls for a full lifting of the siege. Prime Minister Netanyahu defends the decision domestically, as ships are set to leave from Lebanon and Iran. Ze'ev Segal examines the mandate of the committee appointed by the Israeli government to investigate the flotilla raid. President Obama is set to meet PM Netanyahu in Washington on July 6 amid reported plans to demolish Palestinian homes and build new settlement units in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post examines tensions between Hamas and Fatah while Ma’an News Agency report on an upcoming meeting between Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran in Damascus. Khairallah Khairallah examines how the Arabs' illusive search for the ideal hero leaves them vulnerable to external manipulation.

June 18th

ATFP President Ziad Asali analyzes the Palestine Investment Conference. The CSM asks what drives PM Netanyahu and says Israel's easing of the Gaza blockade shows that progress is possible. Palestinians are divided on the blockade easing. Ha'aretz says it is a victory for the activists, but that the decision was not announced in Hebrew. Experts say it's not a lasting solution. The National calls it a ploy. Peace Now says settlers are still building in spite of the moratorium. Special Envoy Mitchell holds talks with Pres. Abbas, and urges restraint in a meeting with DM Barak. Ha'aretz profiles Israel's inner cabinet. The Palestinian cause finds strong support in Ireland. The World Zionist Congress votes in favor of a two-state solution and a settlement freeze. Rami Khouri says Pres. Obama is facing a test of his credibility. Dominique Moisi says Israeli political reform is essential.

June 17th

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.

June 16th

The UN will distribute aid from the Gaza flotilla. The family of a Palestinian driver killed by Israeli police demands an investigation. Israeli troops kill an alleged drug smuggler on the Gaza border. Amnesty International says Israel's investigation into the flotilla attack is flawed. Hamas and the UN compete for the attention of Gaza children. The new Iranian flotilla is about to set sail for Gaza. Israeli authorities are preparing to charge soldiers in the killings of two Palestinian women during the Gaza war. Egypt reiterates its concern that Israel is trying to “dump Gaza” onto it. Avirama Golan says Israel's airports are a hub of “ethnocentric panic.” A planning committee ratifies controversial new settlement construction in Ramat Shlomo in occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Economy Minister urges settlement businesses to relocate Israel. The Guardian interviews Palestinian filmmaker Elia Sulieman. The JTA says serious disagreements are looming in the US-Israel relationship. Shlomo Avineri says Palestinians may unilaterally declare independence.

June 15th

Egypt finds itself in a difficult position following Israel's attack on the Gaza flotilla. There is widespread international and Israeli skepticism about Israel's commission of inquiry, and UNSG Ban says an international commission is still required. PM Fayyad condemns an attack on an Israeli police officer. Palestinians release a study on export opportunities in Europe. Israel's security chief says lifting the blockade is risky but a minister says changes are being examined. A Palestinian is killed in a tunnel collapse. Hamas blocks a nonviolent demonstration against Israel's Gaza buffer zone. Israeli minister Dan Meridor says Israel should not build in areas that will become a Palestinian state. Yoel Marcus says the flotilla attack means the blockade is over. Ireland expels an Israeli diplomat over the Dubai assassination. Gadi Taub says Fayyad may be the Palestinian Ben Gurion. UC Irvine suspends its Muslim Student Union for disrupting a speech by Israeli Amb. Michael Oren. Palestinian MK Hanin Zoaby, who was on the flotilla, has reportedly become “the most hated person in Israel”

June 14th

Israel names a commission of inquiry into the Gaza flotilla attack including international observers, but Turkey says it has no confidence in it. Uri Avnery lists the questions a real investigation would ask. Ethan Bronner looks at everyday life In Gaza and the LA Times examines the humanitarian crisis. The PA denies Pres. Abbas supports maintaining the blockade. The Red Cross says the blockade is illegal, and the EU is expecting Israel to soften it. An Israeli policeman is killed in the West Bank. Palestinians continued to be denied access to West Bank highways. A Gaza visit by the Arab League head bolsters Hamas. DM Barak called off a trip to Paris over arrest fears. Amira Hass looks at Israel's abuse of Palestinian prisoners. B'Tselem says 83 Palestinians have been killed since the Gaza war. Ha'aretz interviews Robert Wexler. The Jerusalem Post profiles Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation. An alleged Mossad agent is arrested in Poland in connection with the Dubai assassination.

June 11th

Pres. Abbas continues his Washington trip with a speech at Brookings. Under international pressure, Israel is looking for new Gaza policy. Roger Cohen says Israel is retreating into an uncompromising “rump Zionism.” Controversy continues over the PA decision to postpone municipal elections, but Hamas welcomes the move. PM Fayyad says the Gaza crossings should be opened according to the 2005 agreement. Special Envoy Mitchell is set to lead another round of proximity talks. New footage of the flotilla attack bolsters aspects of both narratives. Israel says the captain of the ship tried to prevent violence. Ephraim Sneh says the solution is an end to Hamas rule in Gaza. BBC reporter Tim Franks talks about his experiences. Chris Patten says the EU must be more assertive. Israelis push back against the PA settlement goods boycott. At a meeting with US Jewish leaders, Abbas recognizes Jewish ties to the land of Israel. Osman Mirghani says Pres. Obama's Cairo speech was another victim of the flotilla attack. Patrick Seale says Israel is facing a formidable coalition of Iran, Turkey and Syria. Hussein Ibish asks where Israel is taking the occupation.

June 10th

Pres. Obama meets with Pres. Abbas at the White House, presses for direct negotiations, pledges $400 million in new aid and says there must be a new formula for handling Gaza. Abbas is interviewed by Charlie Rose. Tony Judt interrogates clichés about Israel. Israel eases some aspects of the blockade, but ignores global criticism of the flotilla attack, which Walter Rodgers says has deepened the rift with the United States. Bret Stephens asks if liberals have their own double standard. Turkey is attempting to broker Palestinian reconciliation. A new report outlines how the conflict is damaging Israel's economy. An Israeli government document says the blockade is not about security, but is “economic warfare” against Hamas. The Israeli Foreign Ministry warned the Navy not to raid the flotilla in international waters. Abbas reportedly acknowledges Jewish rights in Israel. Israel is considering expanding PA security control in the occupied territories. A UN Summer school in Gaza opens in spite of threats from Palestinian extremists. Michael Young and Joseph Kechichian worry that core Arab issues are being dominated by Iran and Turkey. The National says Israel's current vulnerability presents opportunities to advance peace.

June 9th

Pres. Abbas arrives in Washington to meet with Pres. Obama, and says leadership and courage are now required. Daniel Williams profiles the PA settlement goods boycott. Flotilla activists continue to strongly contradict Israel's narrative. The CSM asks if Israel's blockade is legal. Ron Grossman says Israel finds itself in a similar position as Britain did in 1947. Pres. Obama may offer more Gaza aid. Many Gazans are leaving the territory through the reopened crossing with Egypt. Flotilla leaders say they will return with more ships. The Palestine Investment Conference garners $940 million in new projects. Britain denies a Daily Telegraph report that Israel has agreed to ease the siege of Gaza in exchange for a watered down investigation. Israeli police describe violent clashes with settlers. Elias Harfoush says the rise of Turkish PM Erdogan in the region is a symptom of Arab decline. Osama Al Sharif says Turkey is being bold while the Arabs are being “muted and shy.” Michael Weiss says the emergence of PM Fayyad is “the best thing to happen in the Middle East in ages.”

June 8th

The Washington Post says the Gaza blockade must be eased without strengthening Hamas. Jonah Goldberg says the blockade is working, but Gershon Baskin says it strengthens Hamas. VP Biden says the US is looking for new ways of managing the problem. The CSM profiles the American killed in the flotilla attack. The PA welcomes international calls for ending the blockade, and may present a joint plan with the EU. Flotilla passengers strongly contradict Israel's narrative of the attack. The Palestinian Economy Minister explains the settlement goods boycott at a Tel Aviv event. UN criticism of Israel marks a subtle shift in US policy. Turkey seeks to mobilize regional pressure on Israel. Israeli security forces clash with settlers. The Israeli military is investigating the flotilla attack, and Israel is seeking a US green light for an independent panel. Nahum Barnea says Israel has no leadership. The flotilla crisis may lead Kadima back into the government. Egypt says it will keep its Gaza border open indefinitely. Tariq Alhomayed asks when the Arabs are going to realize the games being played by Iran and others. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid asks whether Turkey's actions make it part of an Iranian axis or a rival. Ghassan Khatib says the world must confront Israel's behavior. Women are urged to get involved in Palestinian security efforts.

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