Hamas refusal to take sides in Syrian strife is raising tensions. Hamas says it will honor an unofficial cease-fire with Israel under a new unity government. 13 Palestinian factions meet in Cairo for the unity agreement. Israel’s threat to withhold Palestinian tax revenues exposes economic vulnerabilities under occupation, and PM Fayyad says salaries cannot be paid without that income. Gazans protest Hamas’ condemnation of the death of Osama bin Laden, while others rally in praise of him. Palestinians blame settlers for a mosque fire in the West Bank. Concerns grow that Fayyad may not be part of a new government. Pres. Abbas’ office calls for maintaining calm with Israel. Ha’aretz says Pres. Obama must bring his daring to Middle East peace. Aluf Benn says Obama must use his new clout wisely, including between Israel and the Palestinians. The US Supreme Court will rule on the case involving the legal status of Jerusalem. Gershon Baskin says the Palestinian unity deal may offer new opportunities for peace. Yehudah Mirsky says the Quartet should maintain its positions with any new Palestinian government. George Semaan says national unity is the first step towards Palestinian statehood. Linda Heard warns Egypt may be walking into an Israeli trap in Gaza. Ghassan Khatib says the unity agreement is good for peace, but Yossi Alpher says it’s not a finished product and Israel shouldn’t interfere. Shlomo Brom provides an Israeli analysis of the Palestinian unity deal.

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