March 23rd

Rockets fired from Gaza hit southern Israel. Four Palestinian civilians and four militants are killed in Israeli airstrikes. PM Fayyad’s five-week period form a cabinet has expired, but he says the process is on hold pending a potential unity government. Hamas calls for a day of mourning and Pres. Abbas calls for a cease-fire. The UN and the Arab League condemn the killing of civilians in Gaza, and PM Netanyahu says he regrets the deaths. Ma'an provides a summary of Gaza border violence in March. Israel passes a law banning mourning its founding. Critics call the new law racist. Sefi Rachlevsky says Israel’s anti-democratic racism must end. Amira Hass says those firing rockets are playing with the lives of Palestinian children. Ha’aretz says a small war is already brewing in Gaza. Palestinians are pushing for new negotiations with Israel. Abbas urges Russia to help restrain Israel. The French FM says that a Palestinian state must be created in 2011. Aluf Benn says Israel is oblivious to the implications of Arab uprisings. The State Department praises the performance of Palestinian security services. Ghassan Khatib says the murder of a settler family was totally unacceptable but does not justify Israel’s policies. Yossi Alpher says the world’s attention is elsewhere and the peace process is even more unlikely to move forward.

March 22nd

Palestinians ask for international protection against Israeli settlers. A Palestinian kidnapped by Israel describes his ordeal. Sarah Palin visits Jerusalem, but not Bethlehem. 21 Palestinians, including at least seven children, are injured in Israeli air strikes on Gaza. Settlers open fire on a Palestinian funeral procession. Israeli forces reenter a Palestinian village in the West Bank. Israel evacuates a building in occupied East Jerusalem claimed by Russia. A UN official accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing.” Hamas again objects to UN schools in Gaza teaching the Holocaust. Hamas vows to restore order in Gaza, and end attacks on Israel. The Israeli military is investigating left-wing NGOs. Ha’aretz says new legislation threatens both Arabs and Israeli democracy. Akiva Eldar says US actions in Libya make Palestinian statehood more likely. Gershon Baskin says that Pres. Abbas has once again proven he is a man of peace. The UN says both sides need to do more to comply with the Goldstone report. Jesse Rothman and Logan Bayroff explain why they support J Street. Gazans seek to join the “Arab Spring.” Israel begins a diplomatic offensive in Latin America.

March 21st

Mortars are fired from Gaza and shells from Israeli tanks on the border region. Settlers stab a Palestinian near Hebron. The UN says there has been a major increase in Palestinian home demolitions. PLO officials say they may seek UN recognition soon. Israel admits to having kidnapped a missing Palestinian engineer. Analysts say the Hamas attacks on Israel are a political statement. Pro-unity rallies continue in Gaza. Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu has provoked Hamas. The leader of J Street is in Israel to lobby against a Knesset investigation, as the military has been investigating left-wing NGOs. A Palestinian says he was stabbed 10 times by Israelis. Israel says Hamas is building more tunnels. Analysts say border clashes show Israel’s deterrence against Hamas is waning. Fabio Fiallo says Arab uprisings may be good for Israel and democracy. Hamas seems to pullback from its invitation to Pres. Abbas. Israel builds a wall around an occupied Lebanese village. A Palestinian youth denied entry into Israel dies in hospital. Abdulateef Al-Mulhim says it would have been better if the Arabs had recognized Israel in 1948.

March 18th

Hamas arrests a protester and two cameramen at a national unity rally, and another group of protesters sought refuge at a UN compound and are now on a hunger strike. PM Netanyahu condemns Palestinian national unity moves. Arrangements are being made for Pres. Abbas to visit Gaza, including seeking passage through Israel. Analysts look at the split between Fatah and Hamas. Israeli and Palestinian leaders will visit Moscow next week. Akiva Eldar says the Israeli right sees all Arabs as terrorists. Bradley Burston says the occupation means Israelis face a grim future. A Palestinian man attacked by settlers recounts his ordeal. Projectiles fired from Gaza hit western Israel. Eitan Haber says no matter how angry Israelis are, they have no choice but to seek peace. US Senators say Hamas should stay on the terrorism list. GLBT groups face controversy over pro-Palestinian sentiments. Marwan Muasher and Javier Solana say regional upheaval in the Middle East may help the peace process. PM Fayyad calls on Hamas to accept Abbas' unity overture. Naomi Chazan decries attacks on civil society in Israel.

March 17th

Palestinian leaders agree to meet in Gaza, and independent figures prepare to receive Pres. Abbas. Egypt resumes natural gas exports to Israel. Daoud Kuttab says the murder of settlers is unacceptable and that it remains to be seen if popular protests for Palestinian unity will have any lasting impact. A Palestinian man is attacked inside a settlement. The Israeli military renews orders to forcibly keep Gazans away from the border. Jordan says settlements threaten peace. Gaza NGOs call on Hamas to investigate attacks on peaceful national unity rallies, in which at least one person was killed. Ari Shavit says settlements are Israel's nuclear meltdown. Some residents of occupied East Jerusalem will no longer pay local taxes. A new initiative seeks to use Israeli flight attendants for public diplomacy. D. Bloomfield says PM Netanyahu is presiding over terrible PR. Larry Derfner says to prevent future atrocities, Palestinians must loose their victim mentality. Settlers vow to never leave the occupied territories. Sec. Clinton says Egypt will maintain its peace treaty with Israel. JJ Goldberg says the murder of the settler family shows the urgency, not the futility, of Israel working with the Palestinians. George Hishmeh says Israel may need a change of leadership.

March 16th

David Remnick says Pres. Obama is right to pursue the establishment of a Palestinian state. Settlers bond over the murder of a family. Hamas forces violently break up Palestinian unity rallies in Gaza. Pres. Abbas says he would travel to Gaza for unity and Hamas says they would welcome him. Two Hamas men are killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza. Israel unveils seized arms. Abbas says he will not run for another term. Uruguay recognizes Palestine. Jordan urges a two-state solution. Aluf Benn says DM Barak must join the opposition. France says EU recognition of Palestine is "a possibility." The film "Jenin, Jenin" continues to spark controversy. Nahum Barnea says Israel is only punishing itself with settlement expansion. Israel says it will build a new wall along the border with Jordan. Republicans in the House of Representatives are floating a bill that would force the Executive to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The National says PM Fayyad is right that a fractured Palestinian society cannot form a state. Mkhaimar Abusada looks at security from a Palestinian perspective. Amor Boubakri looks at what the Arab Peace Initiative says about regional security.

March 15th

Demonstrators in Gaza call for Palestinian national unity. The Israeli navy intercepts a ship carrying weapons. Israelis remember Gilad Schalit. Jewish groups protest the screening of a new film at the UN. The LA Times says the killing of a settler family is part of a cycle of violence. Settlers are still outraged and erect a new unauthorized outpost. An announcement on the new PA cabinet is expected next week. Israel releases a leader of Palestinian nonviolent protests. Few hopes are attached to PM Netanyahu's new peace plan. Nehemia Shtrasler says Netanyahu is exploiting the murder of settlers. The Danish company says it will stop operating in the occupied territories. Palestinian citizens of Israel compete over music. Settlers throw stones at Palestinians. Gershon Baskin says without a Palestinian state, Israel cannot continue to exist either. Daud Abdullah says Europeans have lost respect and affection for Israel. The Gulf News says the murder of settlers is unacceptable, but is no excuse for settlement expansion. Uri Avnery says Israel's leadership does not know how to respond to Arab change.

March 14th

Israel hunts for killer of a settler family, and vows more settlement construction in response to the murders drawing US criticism. Pres. Abbas calls the murders "inhuman" and says the PA would have prevented them if they could have. The killings spark fears of renewed violence, and even Jewish terrorism, as settlers lash out. Palestinians of all political stripes seem embarrassed by the attack. Hamas says the culprits may not be Palestinians and insists the attack has no connection to Gaza. No major Israeli policy changes are expected. Some Palestinians in the West Bank honor a hijacking leader. FM Lieberman says Hamas could take over the West Bank. Israel's mayor in Jerusalem says the city will never be divided. Foreign Policy looks at the plight of Bedouins in the Negev.

March 11th

Hussein Ibish argues that the "Arab street" is both a pernicious myth and a dynamic reality that bears no resemblance to the bogeyman of the Western imagination. Relatives say Israel is secretly holding a Palestinian man from Gaza. PM Netanyahu is under heavy political pressure. Israeli Amb. Oren says his country welcomes Arab democracy. Uri Dromi says Israel needs a new leadership for peace. A Gaza crossing is still closed due to a transport strike as Hamas urges Egypt to ease movement of people. Netanyahu's new adviser could be a sign of change. Netanyahu requests a meeting with Pres. Obama. Hamas may be planning to resume operations in the West Bank. Israeli leftists plan a new settlement. Bedouins reject compensation from the Israeli government. Larry Derfner takes another look at pro-Israel arguments. A former Mossad chief doubts a deal between Israel and the Palestinians is possible. Israel may soon have its first museum of Arab culture and art. A Knesset committee will investigate the activities of J Street. Ahmad Majdoubeh says Israel may face Palestinian protests. The Jordan Times denounces Netanyahu's position on the Jordan Valley. Aaron David Miller says there may be a flurry of peace process activity coming up, but prospects of success bleak.

March 10th

Daniel Shapiro is appointed new US ambassador to Israel. The Palestinian national soccer team loses its first home game, which is still a political victory. Denmark upgrades the status of the PLO mission. An Israeli court allows settlers to seize part of a Palestinian home in occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Election Commission opens voter registration for July local elections. A Hamas national unity plan is rejected by all rivals. PM Netanyahu condemns settler violence and appoints a hawkish new security adviser, who Israeli leftists call a “fascist.” Hamas reshuffles its cabinet in Gaza. Israel says Gaza smuggling has increased. Pres. Abbas urges the Quartet to endorse a new European statement. Ha'aretz says Israel's future depends on the removal of unauthorized outposts. Alon Idan condemns Israeli military policies in Hebron. Bradley Burston wonders if Pres. Obama might gamble on a new Netanyahu peace proposal. The UK ambassador Israel says the next six months are crucial for the resumption of negotiations. D. Bloomfield asks if Israeli negotiations with Syria are an opportunity or a diversion. The BBC looks at how Arab unrest might affect the peace process. Daoud Kuttab says the Palestinian leadership is recalibrating its national strategy.

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