NEWS: DM Barak says he may retire from public life, and that the Netanyahu government should have done more to advance peace with the Palestinians. The New York Times profiles a cactus grower in Gaza. Parties differ over the status of talks on the details of the Hamas-Israel cease-fire. Both sides seem to have hardened their positions as a result of the conflict. The head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad praises Iran. The Gaza cease-fire raises hopes for more reconstruction efforts, as recent Israeli airstrikes are estimated to have cost at least $300 million in damage. Hezbollah claims to have rockets that can strike anywhere in Israel in the event of a future conflict, as Israel says it has successfully tested a new missile defense system. In yet another reversal on the question, Hamas leader Meshaal says he supports Pres. Abbas' UN bid, and says he is finally going to visit Gaza next week. Palestinians are being increasingly drawn into both sides of the Syrian conflict. The UK urges the US to refocus on the peace process. Fatah leaders say they will hold a conference in 2013 to "reboot" the party. Abbas heads to New York as the PLO insists that opposition to its upcoming UN initiative will only signal armed struggle is more effective than diplomacy. Members of Congress reiterate they may punish the Palestinians for the UN initiative. The BBC looks at the death of a child in the Gaza conflict. COMMENTARY: Jackson Diehl says a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas is better than periodic conflicts. Natan Sachs offers Pres. Obama advice on how to win the trust of Israelis. Barry Rubin criticizes Egypt's performance as a mediator. Jonathan Freedland says Israel and Palestine's leaders and friends have both failed them. Nathan Jeffay says Israel learned important lessons from the last Gaza war. The Forward says the Gaza conflict proves the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians is untenable. The National argues it's important for the PA to fully investigate the death of the late Pres. Arafat. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Hamas leader al-Zahar. Raghida Dergham says Palestinians have to choose between the Hamas and PLO approaches, and the West and Israel hold the keys to that decision. Abdullah Al Shayji says the conflict shows that Israel needs to stop relying on constant wars and become a normal country. Gareth Evans says Israel should treat the new PLO UN initiative as an opportunity, not a challenge. Danny Rubinstein says Egypt is understandably reluctant to open the crossings with Gaza. Mohammed Yaghi says Hamas' confrontation with Israel was half-victory, half-defeat. Meir Javedanfar says Iran was not a central feature of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Daniel Levy says there are seven important lessons to be learned from the Gaza conflict. Peter Beinart looks at the risks attached to the PLO's new UN initiative.

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