January 17th

NEWS: Unknown hackers attack key Israeli corporate websites. FM Lieberman faces a pre-indictment hearing on corruption charges. A human rights advocate in Gaza is stabbed by unknown assailants. PM Netanyahu may present proposals on borders and security at a meeting with Pres. Abbas in March. Israel reportedly strips Abbas of his VIP status and issues him a two-month travel permit. Shiites in Gaza say they're being persecuted by Hamas. UNRWA launches a $300 million appeal. Reports suggest Khaled Meshal may step down as Hamas leader soon. A French Parliament report accuses Israel of “water apartheid.” The UK Deputy PM calls Israeli settlement activity “vandalism.” The PA financial crisis is starting to significantly damage West Bank businesses. COMMENTARY: ATFP Pres. Ziad Asali says Arabs deserve a party of the citizen. Roger Cohen says Israel would be making a big mistake to attack Iran. Barak Ravid says Israel is downplaying its negative campaign against the Palestinians for the meanwhile. Yitzhak Laor says Arabs never been equal before the law in Israel. Gerson Baskin says PM Fayyad is committed to building a Palestinian state. Catrina Stewart wonders if corruption charges might stop the rise of Lieberman. Sid Schwarz says Jews should care about the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Forward says events from last September may still prove game changers in the Israeli-Palestinian equation. The National says Palestinians urgently need Arab financial help. Stuart Reigeluth and Dimitris Bouris say Gaza is still occupied by Israel.

January 13th

NEWS: Palestinian officials say they are sticking to the original negotiating deadlines in spite of US requests for an extension. Pres. Abbas says Israel is offering “nothing new” in the latest negotiations. The parties will meet again on Saturday. Pres. Obama and PM Netanyahu discuss the talks in a phone call. Abbas is going on a European tour next week. Israeli forces injure two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The head of the Palestinian Elections Commission says elections in May are now “impossible” to organize. Israeli-Palestinian couples are facing increasing difficulties. Palestinian women form what may be the Middle East's first all-female car racing team. Hamas says it wants to base its officials in many Arab states, including Jordan. Critics say Israel's plans for several parks in occupied East Jerusalem are designed to deny construction in Palestinian neighborhoods. COMMENTARY: Jane Eisner interviews PM Fayyad and says he is still determined to build a state. Ha'aretz says Israel's Supreme Court is headed down the path of apartheid. Salman Masalha says Israelis and Palestinians alike must set aside fantasies about “justice” on their own terms and face the stark realities. The Jerusalem Post says Israel is right to exclude Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens and expel African migrants. Jordana Horn looks at a new film about Israeli identity. Patrick Seale says Israel's hardliners see a chance to consolidate a "greater Israel." Nirit Anderman looks at a new Israeli film about the occupation. Lara Friedman says already built-up Israeli settlements are a very small part of West Bank territory but about half of the entire territory is under settler control.

January 12th

NEWS: PM Fayyad says he is very concerned about Iran's behavior and nuclear ambitions. The Israeli Supreme Court upholds a law banning Palestinians who marry Israelis from living in Israel. Hamas leader Haniyyeh may go on another regional tour soon including Qatar and Iran. Hamas sentences a Palestinian man to death for alleged collaboration with Israel. The CSM looks at whether Israel was responsible for the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist. The rise of Israel's ultra-Orthodox community is creating an identity crisis for the state. A committee on Palestinian national reconciliation will reportedly begin work “immediately.” Palestinians say Sec. Clinton has asked Pres. Abbas to extend the Quartet deadline for resumed negotiations. An EU report says Israel's policies in the occupied territories are endangering the two-state solution and the Palestinians should develop in “Area C.” A makeover for Gaza's beachfront is controversial. Jordan is reportedly working on how to accommodate some Hamas members as residents. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says Israel must stop stalling on peace. Jihad el-Khazen thinks that if Pres. Obama is reelected, a Palestinian state should be attainable in 2013. Michael Young says it's high time to discard the hoax about a “resistance axis.” Donald Macintyre says the EU is on the brink of abandoning hopes for Palestinian statehood. Natasha Mozgovaya looks at a new fictional book about Middle East peacemaking. Elliott Abrams says 2012 is a year for elections, not diplomacy. Shmuel Rosner says the Supreme Court decision is worthy of indignation but should be respected, while Noam Sheizaf says it just legalizes racial discrimination against Arabs.

January 11th

NEWS: Palestinian leaders express outrage at reports of sky rocketing Israeli settlement construction in occupied East Jerusalem. Peace Now says there was a 20% increase in settlement construction in 2011. Palestinian drivers protest Israeli-only roads in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians accuse Israeli settlers of vandalizing another West Bank mosque. Egyptian activists say they will try to prevent Israeli pilgrims from visiting the tomb of a venerated Rabbi. Hamas leader Haniyyeh arrives back in Gaza. Some of Israel's new settlement plans break commitments made to the United States. Yisrael Beiteinu proposes new Israeli legislation restricting Knesset membership to military veterans, a move that would effectively eliminate Arab representation. Israel adopts a harsh new law aimed mainly at African migrants. Occupation forces arrest 10 Palestinians in the West Bank. COMMENTARY: Zvi Bar'el says the Israeli military has a long history of sharing information with extremist settlers. Donniel Hartman says Israel needs to ask itself if it is ready for peace. Sari Bashi says Gaza is still occupied by Israel no matter what anyone claims. Tony Karon says Palestinians should learn lessons from the ANC. The Jordan Times denounces FM Lieberman's proposal to expel Arab villages from Israel. The Gulf News says Israel needs to rein in such extreme comments. Yariv Oppenheimer has 2012 could be a year of dynamic resurgence of the Israeli peace camp. Imad Al-Frangi says changes in the Arab world are being led by Islamists, and this will benefit Hamas. Dan Rothem asks whether Jews should be allowed to live in a future Palestinian state. David Makovsky says there will be no diplomatic breakthrough during a US election year.

January 10th

NEWS: Israeli and Palestinian officials continue low-key meetings in Jordan. A proposed law in Israel would make it a crime to compare people to Nazis. A right-wing Israeli MK who threw water on a Palestinian MK is suspended from the Knesset for a month. Israel says it's ready to absorb Syrian refugees if the Assad regime falls. The Middle East Quartet has reportedly asked Israel for “confidence building gestures” towards the Palestinians, and PM Netanyahu is reportedly considering such steps. Peace Now says Israel began building 1,850 settlement housing units in the occupied West Bank in 2011. A Hamas leader in Gaza says “the future is ours” because Islamists will come to power throughout the Middle East. Amira Hass looks at how roads are segregated in practice in the occupied territories. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish explains why Gaza is still occupied territory. Sefi Rachlevsky says that if Israeli secularists and Arabs all voted, Netanyahu would be out of office. Khaled Abu Toameh says Pres. Abbas is sending conflicting and confusing messages to his own public. Tova Norlen says Israel has to explain what it wants from a peace agreement. Catrina Stewart says a push-back against religiously-driven sexism in Israel has begun. JJ Goldberg says Egypt's new democracy brings important opportunities for Israel. Hussein Shobokshi says Israel remains a national priority in American politics. Abdulateef Al-Mulhim says Saudi Arabia has a major role to play in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Yossi Alpher says 2012 will be a year of reassessment. Ghassan Khatib says nothing driving last year's period of diplomatic stagnation has changed.

January 9th

NEWS: PM Fayyad says the PA will cut spending and raise taxes to try to address a financial crisis. Israeli authorities charge 5 settlers in connection with an attack on a military base in the occupied territories. FM Lieberman repeats that he would like to remove some Arab villages from Israel in any peace deal. Jordan reportedly seizes the assets of Muhammad Dahlan and his brother. Palestinian reconciliation talks appear to be faltering as Fatah and Hamas exchange bitter accusations. The Palestinian version of "Sesame Street" loses funding for its next season due to a cut off in US aid. Israeli experts say they expect a large cyber attack sometime in the future. Palestinians are skeptical about prospects for renewed negotiations with Israel. Israel arrests four Palestinian men allegedly carrying weapons. COMMENTARY: Dennis Ross says the only way forward is for Israel to change realities on the ground to strengthen Palestinian leaders like Pres. Abbas and Fayyad who believe in peace and nonviolence. Phyllis Bennis says Pres. Obama's real problem with Israel is its policies towards the Palestinians. Carlo Strenger says secular Israelis and Palestinians should find enclaves from religious fanatics. Jeff Barak says Israel is probably headed for an early election. Susan Hattis Rolef looks at four possible scenarios between Israel and the Palestinians. Harriet Sherwood says splits in Hamas are becoming more obvious. Uri Avnery says Hamas' recent moves are making another war in Gaza less likely. Yossi Alpher says Israelis and Palestinians are too far apart for meaningful negotiations. Shaul Arieli says Israel desperately needs new leadership that believes in a two-state solution. The Chicago Tribune looks at the effects of the Arab uprisings on Hamas' policies and prospects.

January 6th

NEWS: Israel and the United States will conduct a major joint missile defense exercise. A Saudi computer hacker is continuing a campaign against Israeli sites. Hamas leader Mishaal makes a surprise visit to Cairo. Israeli, Palestinian and American negotiators will meet again on Monday. Hamas leaders dismiss the negotiations. Analysts say by hosting the talks, Jordan is defending its strategic interests. US officials say Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders have given them assurances on the peace treaty with Israel. Two Palestinian citizens of Israel are arrested on charges of working with Hamas. Palestinians say Israel is creating a politically-motivated series of parks in occupied East Jerusalem. The Forward profiles the far-right-wing Israeli politician Danny Danon. COMMENTARY: The Huffington Post interviews former Pres. Carter on brokering Egyptian-Israeli peace. Mahmoud Abu Rahma says some Palestinian “resistance groups” have caused serious problems for people living under their rule and neglected governance. Yoel Marcus says Israel is making a mistake if it thinks Pres. Obama is no longer effective. Kadima leader Livni says she misses former PM Sharon because he cared about Israel's long-term future. Hirsh Goodman says the Israeli government has been ineffective in fighting for Israel's legitimacy.Jane Eisner looks at the role of Fadwa Barghouti. Sarah Wildman says criticism of Israeli policies cannot be conflated with anti-Semitism. Rami Khouri says the parties are beginning 2012 with a return to failed models of diplomacy. A.B. Yehoshua says Israeli policies and Palestinian conduct are dragging both peoples towards an unworkable binational reality. Daniel Gordis says loving Israel means sometimes defending and sometimes criticizing it.

January 5th

NEWS: Former PM Olmert is indicted on bribery charges. Israeli officials say they are rethinking their policy on prisoner swaps. The PA is transferring funds to Gaza to offset a financial crisis. Hamas leader Hanniyeh arrives in Tunis as his tour continues. Last year the PA prosecuted 517 merchants for violating the settlement goods ban. Israeli authorities say they are struggling to contain Jewish extremists in the occupied territories. The Israeli military rabbis distribute an image of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock erased. Hamas is adapting its positions, but not enough to join the peace process, experts say. Renewed negotiations with Israel may strengthen the hand of Pres. Abbas. COMMENTARY: Gideon Levy says Israel must salvage its relations with Turkey. Nahum Barnea says it's ridiculous to describe Jewish Americans critical of Israeli policy as “anti-Semites.” The Economist says the PLO has little choice but to seek a rapprochement with Hamas. Glenn Kessler says Rick Santorum is profoundly mistaken to claim that “no Palestinians live in the West Bank.” Aaron David Miller says admitting Palestine as a full member of the UN under current circumstances is a terrible idea, but Mustafa Barghouthi says it is essential. Hillel Neuer claims that Gaza is no longer under Israeli occupation. Michael Luongo looks at accusations of “pinkwashing" by Israel. Ronald Lauder says Israel should concentrate on upgrading its submarine forces to create more deterrence. Barak Ravid describes the background of the Jordanian-brokered Israeli-Palestinian talks.

January 3rd

NEWS: Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are meeting this week to try to revive peace talks, but this time the US is not playing a central role. Palestinian leaders say their policies will depend on the outcome of the talks with Israel. Hamas leader Haniyyeh is visiting Turkey on the first leg of a wider regional tour. The Israeli government is preparing to deal with court orders to dismantle “unauthorized” settlement outposts. Hamas leaders in Gaza say nonviolent resistance does not apply there. Palestinian anti-corruption officials are reportedly looking into foreign bank accounts. Pres. Assad may meet with Hamas leaders in Damascus. Israel revokes the amnesty granted to the co-founder of a theater in Jenin. Israel announces 230 additional settlement housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. COMMENTARY: In an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, PM Fayyad says Palestinians have proven they are ready for independence. Arron David Miller says PM Netanyahu and Pres. Obama do not like or trust each other. Ron Gilran says Israel may be closer to another large-scale military operation in Gaza. Shimon Shiffer says Israel has a peace partner even if national narratives are not compatible. H.D.S. Greenway says the occupation is Israel's tragedy. Barak Ravid says the Israeli right wing is deliberately suppressing the truth about Palestinian-Israeli demographics. Musa Keilani welcomes European pressure on Israel. Rami Khouri says Palestinian national unity is essential in 2012. Nida' Tuma says Palestinian women are increasingly demanding equal rights in their society.

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