NEWS: Israel is gambling that increased Egyptian troop presence in Sinai will restore order. Israel's finance minister says the Palestinian UN initiative is a “bigger threat” than Hamas. The West Bank and Gaza find themselves in different time zones this Ramadan. Israel is again withholding Palestinian tax revenues. Israel's Knesset speaker says he believes all the land, including the occupied territories, “is ours in its entirety.” Surfers and runners in Gaza train in spite of difficulties. A US citizen pleads guilty to spying for Israel. Muslim members of Congress call for the release of a captured Israeli soldier. Jordan has reportedly asked the Palestinian leadership to reconsider any UN initiative. COMMENTARY: Zvi Bar'el says the Israeli-Egyptian alliance is one between two juntas. Amira Hass says everything is in place for another Palestinian uprising. Israel's former ambassador in South Africa says Israel is facing the "South Africanization" of the conflict. Abraham Katsman says non-Jewish Republicans are outbidding Jewish Democrats on Israel in American elections. The National says Israel needs more than weapons. Meryl Chertoff and Samah A. Norquist say more Jewish and Arab-American dialogue is needed on Palestine and many issues. Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says a UN initiative could invalidate the Oslo Agreements.

August 30th

NEWS: The Israeli military is training settlers to fight Palestinian protesters. Larry Derfner is fired by the Jerusalem Post. Egypt is discussing raising its troop levels in Sinai with Israel. Israel says weapons are coming to Gaza from Libya. Hamas says reconciliation talks are going “very slowly.” PM Netanyahu meets with experts to discuss the possible borders of a future Palestinian state. Gaza NGOs express “horror” at new Hamas travel restrictions. Israeli officials say a 10-man cell is planning new attacks from Sinai. Egyptians debate their relationship with Israel. House Republicans propose a new bill to end funding to Palestinian refugees, among other measures. COMMENTARY: Amir Oren doubts Netanyahu really believes in military restraint. Akiva Eldar says Palestinian strategy will make it difficult for the US to oppose a UN initiative. Avi Yesawich says anything that happens at the UN will be purely symbolic and counterproductive. Khaled Diab says enemies need to begin to look for the good in each other. Gershon Baskin says resistance to Palestinian statehood by Israelis is national suicide and the Forward profiles him. Frida Ghitis says some are pushing for a new war in the Middle East. Palestinian refugees in Syria condemn attacks by the Assad regime. Geoffrey Paul looks in a new book by Hirsh Goodman on Israel's difficulties developing a viable peace strategy. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says the US should punish the UN for any Palestinian initiative whatsoever by cutting off funds.

August 29th

NEWS: Israelis debate their regional strategy. Israel now has to take Egyptian public opinion into consideration. Palestinians seek greater access to occupied East Jerusalem. Eight Israelis are wounded by a Palestinian man in Tel Aviv. Palestinian leaders condemned the attack. Palestinians believe they are making progress with the EU on a UN initiative. The end of Ramadan in Gaza is marked by economic woes. DM Barak says militants in Gaza are planning more attacks on Israel. The EU says Middle East unrest is producing new opportunities for peace. Egyptians debate how to restore security in Sinai. COMMENTARY: Francis Boyle says a UN initiative will not endanger Palestinian rights. Jeremy Bowen says Israel is facing an uncertain regional landscape. Gary Wexler says Israel can't improve its image without policy changes. Maik Baumgärtner and Lisa Bjurwald say it is ironic that Israeli hard-liners are aligning with European neo-Nazis. Nermeen Murad says the past should not haunt Jordanians and Palestinians citizens of Jordan. MK Tibi says Congressional visitors are not shown the realities in Israel and Palestine. Thalif Deen says Palestinians under occupation are being denied access to sufficient water.

August 26th

NEWS: The death toll in Gaza from Israeli airstrikes grows to nine. The Israeli settlement in Hebron is expanding. Hamas leaders reaffirm they will never recognize Israel. Hanan Ashrawi says statehood would not threaten the legal status of the PLO. Reuters looks at the mechanics of statehood and UN membership. The EU says aid to Palestinians is threatened by Europe's financial crisis. Videos document the brutalization of young Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces. Israelis and Palestinians bond over soccer. Israel agrees that Egypt should deploy more troops in Sinai. Palestinians and Israelis host dual-narrative tours. COMMENTARY: Yossi Sarid says "cost of living" is the latest argument for the occupation. Zeev Sternhell says social justice requires ending the occupation. Khaled Diad looks at the Israeli-Palestinian-Egyptian triangle. Patrick Seale says a larger confrontation is brewing in the Middle East. Al Jazeera interviews Guy Goodwin Gill on the implications of Palestinian statehood for the PLO's legal status. Avi Issacharoff says there is the possibility of more violence soon.

August 25th

NEWS: A cease-fire between Israel and Gaza-based militants is tested by an exchange of fire. Five Palestinians die in Israeli bombing attacks on Gaza. Palestinians are being injured by rockets fired towards Israel from Gaza. The UN expresses “deep concern” about the violence. Glenn Beck hosts a rally in the old city of occupied East Jerusalem. A report suggesting that Israel may be unprepared for developments in September is being kept secret. Mysteries abound about a Palestinian engineer arrested by Israel. Ramadan discounts fuel commerce in Hebron's old city. COMMENTARY: Abdullah Abu Eid looks at the history of Palestine and statehood. Ha'aretz says the far right in Israel is aligning itself with fanatical Christian “lunatics.” Yossi Melman says Israel is unlikely to enjoy warm relations with the new Libyan government. Larry Derfner says we are experiencing the calm before the storm. Yossi Alpher says the recent violence shows the dangers and opportunities for Israel from Arab revolutions. Bilal Hassen says PM Netanyahu is a politician who sees only what he wants. Michael Bröning says whatever happens at the UN, Israel and the Palestinians need to prepare for the day after. Salman Masalha says a wise Israeli government would embrace Palestinian statehood in its own interests. Daniel Levy looks at protests in Israel.

August 24th

NEWS: An internal Palestinian document outlines the risks of a UN initiative, but the Arab League pledges to support one. Fatah says Hamas requested the postponement of municipal elections. Rights groups urge Hamas to allow students to leave Gaza. Israel attacks targets in Gaza. Israel prepares for more possible attacks in its south. Israel believes some involved in the recent attacks were Egyptian citizens. Support for Israel has become a major factor in the election to fill Anthony Weiner's seat in Congress. An Egyptian woman is injured by a missile fired from Gaza. COMMENTARY: Mira Sucharov says she is both a Zionist and a Palestinian nationalist. Ray Hanania says common sense is important for peace. Jonathan Glennie says aid is not enough and Palestinians need an end to the occupation. Donald Macintyre says Glenn Beck's rhetoric has horrified many Israelis. Yossi Alpher says September could still produce a win-win scenario rather than a confrontation. Ghassan Khatib says Israel is hyping the prospects of a confrontation to distract from the need to end the occupation.

August 23rd

NEWS: Egypt says it never considered withdrawing its ambassador to Israel. The US is investigating possible ties of Al-Qaeda sympathizers to recent attacks in Israel. Glenn Beck's Israel tour raises questions about the Christian right and its agenda. Israel's anti-missile system may have helped stop an escalation with Gaza militants. Pres. Abbas postpones planned municipal elections in the West Bank. The UN report on last year's flotilla incident is again delayed. Israeli courts reject an appeal by Palestinians against the separation barrier. PM Netanyahu reportedly tells his cabinet why a large-scale assault on Gaza is not in Israel's interests. Resentment against Hamas is growing within Gaza's middle class. Gaza tunnel operators are focusing on moving people. Egypt bans the export of palm leaves to Israel. The Arab League chief reportedly suggests Palestinians reconsider any UN initiative. COMMENTARY: Rachel Tabachnick says Israel should shun Glenn Beck. Noam Sheizaf says Beck's tour could be disastrous. Eitan Haber says it makes sense for Israel to apologize to Egypt over the death of its soldiers. Sami Abdel-Shafi says the EU should aid Gaza. George Semaan says Israel faces a strategic crisis. Mohammad Salah says the incident over the flag at the Israeli embassy in Cairo is a symptom of Egypt's loss of influence. The Jordan Times says recent attacks in Israel only undermine the Palestinian cause. Uri Avnery says violence is being driven by extremists, including those in power.

August 22nd

NEWS: Israel apologizes for the deaths of Egyptian soldiers. After a series of deadly exchanges, Israel, Hamas and other Gaza factions seem to be observing a cease-fire. The violence may prompt the end of "social justice" protests in Israel. Speculation grows that Bedouins may have been involved in the attacks in Israel. The Independent looks at Egyptian efforts to curb lawlessness in Sinai. Syrian forces are reportedly scrambling to erase evidence of bloodshed at the Ramel Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia. Diplomats say Iran has curtailed or ended financing of Hamas. PM Fayyad denies reports that the US threatened to cut off aid if Palestinians pursue a UN initiative.Palestinian quarry workers go on strike. COMMENTARY: Aaron David Miller says all parties are seeking to avoid blame for the ongoing diplomatic impasse. Zev Chafets says Glenn Beck, though a Mormon, may be trying to become the leader of the pro-Israel Christian right. Akiva Eldar says there is a confrontation between "Israeli arrogance" and "Arab honor." Bradley Burston says everyone must accept that Israelis are people like all others. The National says violence only harms the Palestinian cause. Nahum Barnea says Israel has no strategy. Khaled Diab says self-criticism is essential. Husam Itani says the Negev attacks show that armed conflict between Arabs and Israel is counter-productive. The Daily Star says all parties have good reasons for avoiding an escalation.

August 19th

NEWS: Israel and militants in Gaza exchange attacks. At least five Egyptians are killed in the fighting. Israel blames "poor security" in Sinai for the attacks. Israeli attacks strike a refugee camp in central Gaza. Reuters looks at the group blamed for the attacks in southern Israel. The Media Line looks at the state of Egyptian security in Sinai. The US urges Egypt to do more to control Sinai. Israel opens a light rail service linking West Jerusalem with occupied East Jerusalem. Pres. Abbas says the PLO will not accept observer status at the UN. The battle intensifies in Congress over how to react to a Palestinian UN initiative. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says Israel no longer looks like a Goliath in the region. Avi Issacharoff says the Egyptian revolution has left a vacuum in Sinai. David Borowich Ya’ari says Israelis are awakening to "social justice" issues. Roi Ben-Yehuda says the protests may lead to a new era of Jewish-Arab cooperation, but Yisrael Harel says they are indifferent to the Palestinians. Abir Kopty explains how Palestinians in Israel are trying to involve themselves in the protests. The Daily Star says the exchange of attacks shows the status quo is untenable and peace is the only option. Shane Farrell and Mona Alami say Abbas achieved much in his trip to Lebanon.

August 18th

NEWS: Israeli vehicles are attacked near the Egyptian border, with at least five killed. Israeli and Palestinian authorities are preparing to deal with possible massive demonstrations in September in the West Bank, but Reuters says there is no sign of them. Hamas bans 8 Gaza students from traveling to study in the United States for “cultural and social reasons.” Hamas denies it's moving its headquarters to Egypt. Turkey is likely to retaliate diplomatically for Israel's refusal to apologize for last year's flotilla incident. Prisoner swap talks between Israel and Hamas are reportedly deadlocked. Palestinians may be working with the EU to find an effective UN strategy. Hamas and other Palestinian factions find themselves in a difficult position over Syrian government attacks on Palestinian refugees. A Palestinian man faces a lonely struggle against a key settlement. Ousted former PLO official Muhammad Dahlan is struggling for his political survival. Pres. Abbas opens the Palestinian embassy in Beirut. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says the attacks on the border show Egypt is losing control of Sinai. D. Bloomfield wonders if PM Netanyahu is bluffing on the border issue. Hussein Shobokshi says Pres. Assad has become more dangerous to the region than Israel. George Hishmeh says the US is still not evenhanded. Israel's consul general in New England says Palestinians won't benefit from a UN initiative. Daoud Kuttab says Palestinians can still negotiate with Israel no matter what happens in September. Eva Bartlett looks at the dangers of swimming in Gaza. Josh Rubner says Congress should hold Israel responsible for use of US weapons. Oded Eran says secret talks have been useful between Arabs and Israelis.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017