August 8th

NEWS: Hamas and Fatah agree to release political prisoners. Fatah figures accuse ousted official Muhammad Dahlan of being involved in the "poisoning" of the late Pres. Arafat. FM Lieberman says Israel should cut all ties to the PA. A five-star hotel opens in Gaza. EU diplomats criticize Israel's “arrogant” stance. Israel may hold early elections due to ongoing protests. Israeli textbooks are criticized for bias against Palestinians. Israel pressures human rights organizations. Palestinian women are entering the banking sector. Lebanon says it will recognize the Palestinian state. COMMENTARY: The New York Times says a confrontation at the UN would be harmful to all parties and the US should work towards a compromise. Former UN ambassador Gabriela Shalev says Israel's international standing is collapsing. Oudeh Basharat says Palestinian citizens should get involved in Israel's cost of living protests. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews FM Al-Maliki. Xinhua says empty promises from Israel won't stop a Palestinian UN initiative. Sister Paulette Schroeder says living with Palestinians in Hebron taught her lessons about being a Christian. Mira Sucharov asks where Palestinians fit into Israeli cries for "social justice." As'ad Abdul Rahman says Palestinians need a peaceful uprising against occupation. Steve White says maintaining US funding for Palestinian security forces is imperative.

August 5th

NEWS: Israel announces new settlement plans that could cut occupied East Jerusalem off from the rest of the West Bank. A raft of new right-wing legislation shows the rise of the Israeli far-right. Israeli air strikes injure five in Gaza city. Israel is angered by Honduras' support for Palestinian statehood. Palestinians say they are determined to press forward with a UN initiative. The PA orders its forces to prepare to prevent violence in September. An American photojournalist says Israeli troops deliberately fired at him. Palestinians remain frustrated at the lack of national unity. Egyptian officials accuse Palestinian extremists of involvement in attacks in Sinai. Palestinian leaders have been invited to Washington for urgent consultations. Jeffery Goldberg interview Tzipi Livni. COMMENTARY: Sari Nusseibeh reviews a new book by Jeremy Ben-Ami. Tom Parry analyzes Palestinian options at the UN. Akiva Eldar says new US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro's main role is healing rifts between Pres. Obama and the Jewish-American community, not PM Netanyahu. David Hearst says Israel has no answer to Palestinian determination to remain on their land. The National says there is no contradiction between UN recognition of Palestine and negotiations with Israel. Sam Bahour says Palestinians may be giving up on a two-state solution. Justyna Pawlak says the EU is struggling to make its voice heard in the Middle East. Cole Stangler says Israel's new anti-boycott law may backfire. Roberto Quesada says Honduras has nothing to apologize to Israel for by supporting Palestinian statehood. The Forward hosts a forum on a Palestinian UN initiative with Hussein Ibish, Alan Elsner, Danny Ayalon, Shlomo Gazit, David Harris, Gabriela Shalev, Lara Friedman and Maen Rashid Areikat.

August 4th

NEWS: A pending Knesset bill would drop the word “democratic” from Israel self-definition and eliminate Arabic as an official language. A gruesome “honor killing” shocks Palestinians and prompts harsher penalties. New US ambassador Dan Shapiro says Pres. Obama hopes to visit Israel soon. Analysts say new settlement construction would do nothing to offset Israel's cost-of-living crisis. An Israeli parliamentary report says Palestinian violence in September is “unlikely,” but its security forces are preparing for many contingencies. The Arab League says it's finalizing plans for a UN statehood initiative, and Palestinians say their "train is headed towards New York." Gazans show no sympathy for ex-president Mubarak, now on trial in Egypt. COMMENTARY: Nicholas Kristof says the US needs a more balanced policy towards Israel and the Palestinians. Dimi Reider and Aziz Abu Sarah say the cost of living crisis in Israel is strongly linked to the occupation. Michael Jansen says Israel's economic crisis is a classic guns versus butter dilemma. Ian Bremmer says Palestinian statehood is coming and Israel and the United States will find themselves isolated. Americans for Peace Now issues “principles” for Palestinian international recognition and the UN.

August 3rd

NEWS: Municipal elections are planned in the West Bank for October 22. The UN says there is a clear link between Palestinian displacement and settlement expansion. A Palestinian man is convicted of murdering a settler family. The US and Israel are working on a formula to avoid a Palestinian statehood initiative at the UN in September. Analysts doubt PM Netanyahu's latest proposals will produce any results. 42 MKs say the answer to Israel's cost-of-living crisis is more settlement activity. A new poll shows overwhelming Jewish and Muslim American support for a two-state solution. A Knesset committee says Palestinian efforts at the UN will harm Israel diplomatically. Israel's public security minister claims “a large-scale military operation is needed in Gaza.” COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says Israeli courts must end discrimination against Palestinians. Gilad Stern, Einav Yogev and Yoram Schweitzer say the border region between Israel, Egypt and Gaza remains very volatile. The Arab News says only Palestinians should decide what to do at the UN. Osama Al Sharif says Israeli and American opposition to Palestinian statehood initiatives is incomprehensible to the rest of the world. Yossi Alpher says a deal on Jerusalem has to be part of a broader agreement. Ghassan Khatib says the international community must do more on Jerusalem. David Myers says hope for peace can still be found in the actions of ordinary people. Marwan Muasher says Pres. Obama must act now to avoid an Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

August 2nd

NEWS: The US and Israel say they are working on a new framework for negotiations. Israel bombs targets in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli museum in Jerusalem highlights work by artists from the Islamic world. Settlers are issued restraining orders to prevent planned attacks on Palestinians. Palestinian officials say mass protests are planned to coincide with a possible UN initiative in September. Occupation authorities worry about possible Palestinian use of arson. Palestinian police establish a radio station. The EU says it's contributing €22.5 million to help the PA pay salaries. Israel’s supreme court orders the dismantling of the largest settlement outpost. The UN says occupation zoning policies are driving Palestinians out of “Area C.” COMMENTARY: Gershon Baskin says Israel’s economic health depends on peace with its neighbors. Ben White says the Israeli left needs to wake up. Daniel Seidemann says the two-state solution is hanging on by its fingertips in Jerusalem. Mousa Qous says Israel takes a settler mentality in Jerusalem. The Daily Telegraph says PM Netanyahu is offering nothing new. Amos Oz says fanaticism is the underlying problem. Bloomberg looks at Middle Eastern commentary on possible Palestinian UN initiatives. Lara Friedman says Israeli protests highlight the costs of the occupation. Bradley Burston says the protests leave Netanyahu with only pursuing peace

August 1st

NEWS: Israeli society is divided over free-speech rights. Gaza border violence is another major challenge to Palestinian statehood. Two Palestinians are killed by occupation forces in the West Bank. The PA says it will pay its employees full salaries starting Tuesday. One Lebanese soldier dies in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops at the border. PM Netanyahu says he's working with the United States to try to restart diplomacy. Israel plans to build another separation wall, this time in the Golan Heights. The “Palestinian Popular Committees” plan a civil disobedience campaign in the occupied territories for September. Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan launches a barrage of accusations against Pres. Abbas. Palestinians in Lebanon voice growing support for Syrian protesters. COMMENTARY: ATFP President Ziad J. Asali urges the parties to find a compromise at the UN. Amira Hass interviews economist Raja Khalidi. Edgar Bronfman and Adam R. Bronfman say Netanyahu should go to Ramallah on a peace mission. Raghida Dergham says the atmosphere at the UN on the Middle East is starting to resemble the Cold War era. Charles Hawley looks at connections between the Israeli and European ultra-right. The Gulf News says Dahlan should be fully prosecuted. Dominique Moisi says Israel is much more economically fragile than it appears. Trudy Rubin says Israeli insiders are concerned about the drift away from 2-state discussions. Xelena Gonzalez says Israel's water discrimination in the occupied territories is disgraceful.

July 29th

NEWS: US officials reaffirm a commitment to Israel’s security. Settlers attack international observers. Israel is considering an attenuated apology to Turkey for last year’s flotilla incident. The PLO Central Committee backs a UN statehood bid, but international concerns are growing. The atmosphere in Gaza for Ramadan is colored by the financial crisis. Pres. Peres has reportedly been holding intensive but secret talks with Palestinians. Israel is planning new military intelligence collection systems. Palestinian workers remain central to Israel’s economy. Palestinians continue to press for Canadian support. COMMENTARY: Larry Derfner looks at Israeli reactions to the Norway massacre. Hussein Ibish and Michael Weiss look at the activities of Alastair Crooke and Conflicts Forum. Gal Beckerman says Deputy FM Ayalon’s YouTube video is a remake of a settler video, and Dan Murphy looks at the fallout. Tablet follows a twitter debate between Ayalon and Jeffrey Goldberg about the video. Frédéric Burnand says a UN bid is a last roll of the dice for Palestinians. Ali Younes explains what Palestinians hope to achieve at the UN. Michael Walzer confronts at the situation facing Palestinians in Hebron. Wasseem El Sarraj looks at the economic crisis in Gaza. Alon Ben-Meir says Pres. Obama needs to seek a creative solution to a confrontation with Palestinians at the UN.

July 28th

NEWS: A growing economic crisis is coloring all Palestinian policies. Pres. Abbas says he’s not deterred by US threats over a UN statehood bid, and calls for Palestinian rallies in support. Palestinian security forces raid the home of former Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan. Palestinian electoral officials say municipal voting will only be held in the West Bank in October because Hamas refuses to cooperate in Gaza. Palestinians say Israel is destroying ancient cisterns in the occupied territories. Israeli-Palestinian commerce is continuing but may be threatened. A US government report recommends ending loan guarantees to Israel. Palestinian citizens of Israel debate National Service. The terrorist outrage in Norway focuses attention on outreach to Israel by extreme right-wing elements in the West. An appropriations bill pending in Congress might shut down the PLO mission in Washington. Gaza filmmakers denounce Hamas censorship. COMMENTARY: D. Bloomfield asks if Abbas’ policies are setting up a third intifada. Tariq Alhomayed says Hezbollah leader Nasrallah has effectively recognized Israel. George Hishmeh says Israel is facing international isolation. Daoud Kuttab says the Palestinian march towards the UN may be unstoppable, although what form it will take remains undecided. Michael Jansen looks at the history of the American Colony Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem. MK Ahmad Tibi says the new Israeli boycott law is antidemocratic. Allison Hoffman says the US budget impasse is reminiscent of the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic deadlock. Natasha Mozgovaya says Israel and the Palestinians are still the focus of great attention in Washington. Olga Gershenson looks at a new film questioning Israel’s legal structures in the occupied territories. Hussein Ibish traces the evolution of Syrian policy towards Palestine and the Palestinians.

July 27th

NEWS: A UN Security Council meeting may have foreshadowed events in September. Palestinian plans and a draft resolution may be unveiled on Thursday. UN officials say Palestinians are ready for independence. PM Netanyahu’s popularity in Israel is plummeting over costs of living issues. PM Fayyad says the PA urgently needs $300 million to offset a financial crisis. Israeli troops raid the “Freedom Theater” in Jenin. Hamas says it intends to gain full control over the Egyptian border. Israel sues Bedouins for the costs of repeatedly destroying their homes. Reports describe abusive treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli military courts. COMMENTARY: Oudeh Basharat says Israel needs a real opposition party. Ron Kampeas interrogates Glenn Beck’s support for Israel. Joel Brinkley says events in September will be critical to the future of the Middle East. Emily Hauser looks at Palestinian nonviolent resistance to occupation. Hussein Ibish describes his debate with an extremist Israeli settler as a contrast between modern and medieval thinking, and Gal Beckerman agrees. Hussein Ibish examines potential Palestinian UN initiatives and possible compromises.

July 26th

NEWS: The US Supreme Court will rule on how to refer to Jerusalem in US passports. Palestinians in Israel become galvanized against “honor killings.” The UN report into last year’s flotilla incident is again delayed. Two Palestinians are executed by Hamas in Gaza for collaboration with Israel. The PA says it’s not reconsidering its boycott against settlement goods. Analysts think Israeli-Turkish rapprochement would be mutually beneficial. Former Israeli officials insist the 1967 borders are defensible. Christians United for Israel meets in Washington. The Israeli far right-wing does not express much sympathy for Norway. The Arab League is holding an emergency meeting on the Palestinian financial crisis. COMMENTARY: Salman Masalha says there is no real left-wing tendency among Palestinian citizens of Israel. Akiva Eldar says Israel’s threat to abrogate the Oslo agreements harms only itself. Gershon Baskin says Israel and the Palestinians should jointly craft a UN resolution. The Jordan Times says Israel is colonizing the West Bank with "impunity." Nidal Almughrabi says Gazans are disappointed with the Egyptian Revolution. Liel Liebowitz looks at the sad condition of the Israeli left. Hussein Ibish describes his recent debate with an extremist Israeli settler.

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