NEWS: Israeli officials say Iran is pulling back from military aspects of its nuclear program. Palestinians are pressing forward with a renewed effort at greater recognition at the UN. French investigators say they will exhume the body of the late Pres. Arafat next month. PM Netanyahu is in France, pushing for tougher sanctions against Iran. Syrian rebels attack Palestinian factions aligned with Pres. Assad. Sudan dismisses Israeli allegations about arms shipments. Analysts say the Israeli right is uniting while the center and left remain in disarray. Peace Now says two new “unauthorized” outposts have been established by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. Israel announces 180 new settlement housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli forces arrest 24 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu claims Arabs would not be upset about an Israeli attack against Iran. A long-serving PLO official says a Palestinian confederation with Jordan might be an option. The Church of Scotland owns a luxury hotel in the Galilee. Jewish-American groups are increasingly discussing how to deal with the new Egyptian government. Knesset Speaker Rivlin says the reelection of Pres. Obama would be bad for the settlement project. COMMENTARY: Amira Hass says Israel cannot forever rely on military prowess for its future and security. Zvi Bar'el says Israel is starting to resemble Turkey, a democratic system in effect ruled by a single party. Alan Dershowitz says he thinks Obama deserves to be reelected. The Daily Star says Arab states talk about Palestine, while Israel acts. Danny Rubinstein says the Palestinian economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. Adam Raz says it might be time for Israel to abandon its policy of nuclear ambiguity. Michael Koplow says the Netanyahu-Lieberman joint list could be a disaster for both of them.

October 30th

NEWS: Major clashes have broken out in a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus. Israel arrests 30 Hamas activists in the occupied West Bank, as its policy of isolating the organization by blockading Gaza appears to be unraveling. Pres. Abbas expresses concern that the visit by the Emir of Qatar to Gaza could lead to its separation from the West Bank. Israel believes sanctions against Iran are forcing it to cut back on aid to Hezbollah. Israel says it would limit the use of cluster bombs in any new conflict with Hezbollah. Israeli forces kill a Hamas militant as more projectiles hit southern Israel. PM Netanyahu is going to visit Paris. Two Israeli police officers are indicted for beating an Arab youth. Palestinian citizens in Israel feel unprotected by the Israeli police. European NGOs are pushing for a ban on trade with Israeli settlements. Settler leaders continue to press the Israeli government to adopt the recommendations of the Levy Committee Report. COMMENTARY: Roger Cohen says Jews in Ohio are divided as never before over the election. Abdul-Hakim Salah says the outcome of the US election is unlikely to affect US Middle East policy. Dennis Ross says the two-state solution is not dead and remains the only path to peace. Reuven Pedatzur says Israel has no answer to rocket attacks from Gaza. Kenneth Bandler says the US should make sure other Arab states don't follow Qatar's example in recognizing the de facto Hamas government in Gaza. Gershon Baskin says the situation in Gaza might not escalate, but Israelis and Palestinians must find a way to stop it from continuously repeating. Matthew Brooks says Jewish Americans should vote for Mitt Romney for president. Mel Levine says Romney has many financial ties to Iran. Rami Khouri says a recent letter by American Christian groups to Congress on aid to Israel is an antidote to typical political pandering. Yaron London says Israel is in a low-level war with Gaza whether Netanyahu wants to admit it or not. Andrew Apostolou says the US-Israel relationship is based on practical politics, not romance. Ahram Online interviews former Pres. Carter.

October 29th

NEWS: Iran reportedly acquires images of sensitive Israeli military installations from Hezbollah drones. DM Barak is hoping to extend his political career. Israel and militants in Gaza continue to exchange fire. Palestinians are moving forward with a renewed UN bid later in November. The controversy continues about Jews praying on the Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem. UNRWA strongly disputes Israeli claims that militants use its facilities to fire rockets towards Israel. Hamas leaders insist they want to end Palestinian political divisions. A new poll suggests more Americans believe Pres. Obama is Jewish than he is Muslim, when in fact he is a Christian. An Israeli human rights group says, unlike the government, it will cooperate with a UN investigation into settlement activity. The Dead Sea is shrinking at a record rate. Bahrain denies reports that its King will visit Gaza. COMMENTARY: Geoffrey Aronson says Israel's new Netanyahu-Lieberman alliance could make it almost impossible for the United States to secure a settlement freeze. Gideon Levy agrees with critics of his article last week that Israelis would accept apartheid-like arrangements, but only if their preference for two states cannot be realized. Yehuda Ben Meir insists most Israelis don't want apartheid. Benjamin Pogrund says Israel has moved to the right, but it is not an apartheid state. Akiva Eldar says the alliance between PM Netanyahu and FM Lieberman could be counterintuitively good news. Eitan Haber says the plans of the late PM Rabin will be implemented by whoever is Prime Minister. Jeff Barak says the Likud party may be abandoning the legacy of Jabotinsky. Linda Gradstein says Hamas may be gaining in international legitimacy. Nathan Jeffay says Israeli government recognition of a university in a settlement in the occupied West Bank may spur boycott movements. Nicolas Pelham looks at the growth of extremist Islamist movements in Gaza.

October 26th

NEWS: Israeli officials are instructed to keep quiet about potential US-Iranian negotiations. PM Netanyahu and FM Lieberman announce their parties will be running a joint list in the upcoming Israeli election. The heads of Catholic churches in the "holy land" condemn the route of Israel's West Bank separation barrier. Israeli officials complain Egypt is not doing enough to curb militant activity in Sinai. A UN expert calls for a boycott of companies tied to Israeli settlement activity. Arab MKs in Israel are facing an uphill task in mobilizing their community for the upcoming election. Israeli officials worry about the consequences of Israel's reaction to, and diplomatic campaign against, a renewed Palestinian UN bid in November. The Guardian explains why Israel might have been responsible for an attack in Sudan. The EU is moving to strengthen pharmaceutical trade ties with Israel. COMMENTARY: Douglas Hamilton and Nidal al-Mughrabi say Hamas' brinksmanship betrays a quiet confidence. Alaa Tartir and Jeremy Wildeman say World Bank policies consistently fail the Palestinians. Yossi Verter says fear drove Netanyahu and Lieberman into each other's arms. Chemi Shalev says the partnership could backfire. Aluf Benn says the coalition is aimed at war with Iran. Gideon Levy says the present quiet in the occupied West Bank cannot last. Yonah Jeremy Bob says the Goldstone report may have actually strengthened Israel. Nathan Guttman says US Jewish-Christian dialogue in was in trouble long before the controversy over a letter to Congress. Sari Bashi says the next US administration must not allow Israel to deny Palestinian students American scholarships. Patrick Seale asks if the next US administration can change course in the Middle East, especially regarding Israel. Hassan Barari says Israel is a slogan in American politics. Adel Zaanoun says the visit of the Emir of Qatar may have been a coup for Hamas, but it doesn't set the stage for an independent state in Gaza. David Roberts says Qatari meddling in Gaza is mainly aimed at countering Iran. George Hale looks of the dynamics of the PA fiscal crisis.

October 25th

NEWS: There is a lull in fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza after Egypt brokers a truce. Israel claimed 79 rockets were fired at it from Gaza. Israel says it has “no knowledge” about an attack in Sudan.Palestinians and Israelis protest a settlement supermarket. Hamas sources again say Moussa Abu Marzouk is likely to be the next leader of its Politburo. More Israelis are being drawn to the idea of annexing the West Bank without providing equal rights to its Palestinian residents and jettisoning Gaza. Israel has reopened two Gaza crossings. Israel warns any renewed Palestinian UN bid will have “far-reaching consequences.” The US extends $4 billion in new loan guarantees to Israel. Israel's vice premier says the new Egyptian government of Pres. Morsy is harsher on Hamas than the former Mubarak regime. Israel deports activists from a blockade-breaking ship bound for Gaza. The embattled Zionist Organization of America cancels its annual gala after losing its tax-exempt status. Young Palestinian voters seemed disconnected from recent local elections. The Palestinian Hotel Association says its members boast a 90% occupancy rate. COMMENTARY: ATFP Pres. Ziad Asali says US elections matter and the American political system is open to all participants. Hussein Ibish says policies of the West, Israel and the Arab states are, wittingly or unwittingly, strengthening Hamas at the expense of the PA. Tariq Alhomayed says the price for Qatar's “guardianship” of Gaza is not yet clear but will be high for all. The National says the Qatari visit to Gaza is a sign of regional changes. Gideon Levy gives his view of the range of Jewish Israeli opinion. Aaron David Miller interviews former Mossad chief Halevy. Talal Awkal says Palestinian elections won't be effective until democracy is established and rights are respected.

October 24th

NEWS: During his visit to Gaza, the Emir of Qatar pledges $400 million in reconstruction aid. The visit may be a historic breakthrough for Hamas. Four more Palestinians are killed in Israeli air raids on Gaza after an Israeli soldier is injured by a bomb in the border area and three Israelis are wounded by rocket attacks on southern Israel. A Palestinian is arrested trying to smuggle bombs into Jerusalem. Palestinians say Israel has destroyed five Palestinian wells near Jenin. Public sector strikes are once again gaining momentum in the occupied West Bank. Israel's High Court issues an injunction on separation barrier construction near a West Bank farming village. The PLO is reportedly circulating a position paper to European governments on its renewed UN bid. An Israeli military court rules soldiers must act to stop illegal settlement construction. FM Lieberman vows to continue to raise the issue of Jewish refugees and migrants from the Arab world. The Palestinian ambassador in Lebanon insists there was no Palestinian involvement in recent armed clashes in Beirut. Some Americans in Israel are more forcefully backing Mitt Romney. COMMENTARY: Efraim Halevy says historically it is Republicans, not Democrats, that have put sustained pressure on Israel. Adam Gonn says support for PM Netanyahu is not negatively affected by fighting with militants in Gaza. Many experts believe the Qatari visit to Gaza provides an international opening for Hamas. Muhannad Abd al-Hamid says Qatar and Hamas may be trying to establish a quasi-independent emirate in Gaza, with Israel's blessing. Eric Yoffie says Jewish and Protestant Americans may be headed towards an irreparable rift on Israel. Merav Michaeli says Israel isn't showing respect for its treaties with Egypt and Jordan, let alone evincing interest in peace with the Palestinians. Hagai Segal says Likud should learn from the volatile US presidential campaign, but isn't. The Jerusalem Post says Israel needs to do more to improve educational services for Arab citizens. Rachel Shabi joins those declaring the two-state solution "dead." Brant Rosen defends a letter by American Christian groups to Congress questioning aid to Israel as "reasonable" and “sensitively worded.” Shibley Telhami says it's not at all clear if American voters really care which presidential candidate supports Israel more. Noam Shelef says Gideon Levy misrepresented recent poll numbers regarding Israeli attitudes on apartheid. Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff say Hamas has changed its policy on not attacking Israel.

October 23rd

NEWS: The Emir of Qatar visits Gaza. The Gaza trip is seen as the latest part in Qatar's efforts to develop more regional influence. Fatah officials say they were not invited to meet him. An Israeli soldier is wounded by a bomb on Israel-Gaza border. Pres. Obama and GOP candidate Romney both pledge support for Israel in their final debate. Former Pres. Carter questions whether Israel is interested in a two-state solution, as a new survey indicates most Jewish Israelis would support an apartheid regime in their country. The Israeli Housing Ministry is marketing at least 700 new settlement housing units in the occupied West Bank.UNRWA staff go on strike to protest cuts in services. An Israeli former military lawyer says international opinion on Israel's actions in the occupied territories undermines its self-defense. Israel's Arab citizens are struggling to attend universities. The JGA profiles maverick Gaza journalist Asmaa al-Ghoul. Israel is forbidding the unification of married Palestinian couples between Gaza and the West Bank. Israel is also refusing to allow Gaza students with US-funded scholarships to study in the West Bank. COMMENTARY: Gideon Levy says Israel is an openly, shamelessly apartheid state. Akiva Eldar looks at a new book on Israel's policies towards Lebanon. Anshel Pfeffer says PM Netanyahu is still counting on a Romney victory next week. Harriet Sherwood says intensifying Israeli settlement activity is an indicator of the consequences of Obama's failure to secure a peace agreement. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews a prominent Salafist-Jihadist based in Gaza. Yigal Sarna reviews the film “5 Broken Cameras,” and Marshall Yarbrough reviews “'Sons and Others.” Ibrahim Abu-Ta'a says, whoever wins, the next American president must confront the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hanan Ashrawi says it's absurd to expect Palestinians to ask Israel's permission when applying for international recognition.

October 22nd

NEWS: Fatah scores a mixed result in Palestinian municipal elections, which Hamas boycotted. Palestinian voters are driven by civic duty and economic concerns. Some analysts say the result was a failure for Fatah. Israel seizes control of an activist ship bound for Gaza. Israeli forces kill 2 militants in Gaza. PM Netanyahu says there will be no limit on Israeli settlement activity in occupied East Jerusalem. The Emir of Qatar is expected to visit Gaza this week. The Israeli government defers a decision on the Levy Committee Report. Israel is planning to build a National Defense College in occupied East Jerusalem near the Mount of Olives. The rise of Salafists in Gaza robs Hamas of the banner of “resistance.” The Israeli military thinks Hamas is gaining strength in the occupied West Bank. Extremist Jewish Israelis are suspected in an attack on a Palestinian taxi. COMMENTARY: Khaled Diab says Israel has squandered many opportunities on peace. Akiva Eldar says Arabs need to do more to sell the Arab Peace Initiative. Susan Hattis Rolef says Netanyahu won't make the mistake of accepting the Levy Committee Report recommendations. Philip French reviews the film "5 Broken Cameras.” Jonathan Freedland chides those quick to condemn Israel but seemingly uninterested in atrocities committed by the Syrian regime. Noam Marans complains about a letter from American Christian groups to Congress questioning aid to Israel. Moriel Rothman explains a decision not to serve in the Israeli military. Stephen Spiegel says Pres. Obama has a good record on Israel. Keith Koffler says in tonight's presidential campaign debate, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has a chance to win over Jewish Americans. Gershom Gorenberg says former PM Olmert does not offer solutions to the problems posed by Netanyahu's leadership.

October 19th

NEWS: Israel approves settlement expansions near occupied East Jerusalem.Palestinians begin municipal elections in the occupied West Bank, but face a lack of competition due to a boycott by Hamas. Over 1,000 women are running in the election. A spokesman for Pres. Morsy confirms the authenticity of a letter to Pres. Peres. Both Lebanese and Israelis are annoyed by the TV show “Homeland.” Experts say Jewish Americans are still solidly Democratic. Syrian rebels assassinate a pro-Assad Palestinian activist. Hamas vows to capture more Israeli soldiers. Some Palestinian citizens of Israel say voting is pointless for them, and a new report suggest their towns receive inferior public transportation. Palestinians and settlers trade accusations over this year's olive harvest. Palestinians released in last year's prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas vowed to continue "resistance.”Controversies rage over street-naming in Jerusalem. Palestinians in the West Bank say brewing beer is a form of resistance to occupation. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz interviews former Amb. Gabriella Shalev, who says she couldn't represent Israel under the current circumstances. Gideon Levy says Israeli statesmen are perennially the “almost-peacemakers.”Patrick Seale says Gaza is a demographic and humanitarian timebomb. Dawoud Abu Lebdeh asks if the PA could deploy civil disobedience as a tool of resistance to the occupation. Ahmad Majdoubeh says Pres. Abbas' decision to try to resume negotiations with Israel after a UN vote is sound. Raja Shehadeh describes Israeli and Palestinian remembrances of the Nakba. Dmitry Shumsky says history doesn't provide a basis for comparing the experiences of Jewish and Palestinian refugees. Paul Pillar says the US must not neglect the need for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

October 18th

NEWS: US troops arrive in Israel for a joint defense drill. Palestinians are reportedly urged by Britain to delay renewing their efforts to secure more recognition at the UN. Shas welcomes back a disgraced former official as co-head of the organization. Israeli officials claim missiles from the war in Libya are making their way to Gaza, and add that war will not solve the problems regarding the territory. The State Department says Palestinian students in the occupied West Bank will be able to take SAT exams that were being withheld by Israeli customs. Egypt's new ambassador to Israel takes up residence in that country. Israeli media misinterpret Facebook comments by Pres. Abbas. A street in occupied East Jerusalem will be named after the late Egyptian singer Umm Kulthoum. Hamas leader Mishaal will reportedly finally visit Gaza again. Hamas says it opposes teaching Holocaust studies in UN schools for Palestinians. In Israel, fascination with former Hamas prisoner Shalit continues. Israel's attorney general reiterates his opposition to the Levy Report and recognition of settlement outposts. Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are going ahead with municipal elections despite a Hamas boycott. COMMENTARY: Adam Gonn says most Israeli experts think the center-left can't unseat PM Netanyahu in upcoming elections. Carlo Strenger says he attaches no hopes to the election. Yossi Verter says it offers the last hope for former PM Olmert to successfully return to Israeli politics. Michael Jansen says a Netanyahu victory would be a disaster for peace. Stuart Reigeluth says the EU needs to do much more to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace. Gil Troy says Pres. Obama is neither anti-Israel nor its best friend. Simran Sachdev looks at the all-women's slate running in Hebron in upcoming Palestinian municipal elections. Douglas Bloomfield says Palestinians are aiming for a "victory" at the UN that could prove more costly than beneficial.

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