The UN praises Palestinian progress toward statehood and says they are ready for independence on six key criteria. Sec. Clinton says US plans new initiative on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Four Palestinians die in a Gaza tunnel collapse as the territory’s only commercial crossing is reopened. PM Fayyad meets with donors in Brussels, requesting $5 billion over three years. An Israeli official says the US would veto a Security Council resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood, but others think the US will have a hard time being isolated. Palestinians urge the US to take a clear position on peace. Pres. Abbas says Israel should cease settlement activity so talks can restart. Israel says Hamas leaders are split on continuing a de facto truce. Ha’aretz says a partial West Bank pullout won’t prevent Palestinian statehood, and Aluf Benn says the idea “reeks of irrational desperation.” PM Netanyahu does not meet with a Canadian teenage pop star after all. Quartet Envoy Tony Blair says Palestinians are ready for statehood. Israel may allow a new flotilla to dock in Gaza. Herb Keinon says a UN General Assembly recognition of Palestine might not be very meaningful in practice. The Independent looks at the struggle of the Palestinian businessman to rebuild his home in Beit Jala. Hamad Al-Majed denounces Iranian support for Hamas. Bruce Riedel reviews Jordan’s King Abdullah’s new book on Arab-Israeli peace which warns that time is running out quickly.

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