March 16th

NEWS: PM Erdogan is meeting with Hamas leaders. Africans in Israel unite to lobby for better treatment. Intermittent attacks continue between Israel and militants in Gaza, with no injuries reported. Palestinian national unity activists ponder their next moves. The Syrian regime threatens to raid Yarmouk refugee camp due to Fatah's support for demonstrations against Pres. Assad. Israeli soldiers kill a man trying to cross the border with Egypt. The PA calls on the international community to pressure Israel to lift economic restrictions. Controversy follows comments from Gilad Shalit's father that, were he a Palestinian, he might want to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Suha Arafat says she is considering a role in Palestinian politics. IDF Chief of Staff Gantz will visit the US and Canada. COMMENTARY: L. Michael Hager says any US support for an Israeli attack on Iran would violate US and international law. David Landau says PM Netanyahu's speech at AIPAC reflected the lingering effects of the Holocaust on Jewish thinking. Ron Gerlitz says foreign donors are pushing to rid Israel of Arabic as an official language. Sari Hanafi says Lebanon must stop humiliating Palestinian refugees. Mkhaimar Abusada looks at the impact on Palestinians of the US-Israeli confrontation with Iran. Gershon Baskin says rather than lurching from crisis to crisis, Palestinians and Israelis need to look for opportunities to move forward. Lara Friedman outlines the dangers she sees in Jewish-American groups taking the lead on pushing for war with Iran. Naomi Paiss critiques the BDS movement. George Hishmeh says that if Israel allowed the Palestinians to live in dignity, it would not have to live in fear. Carlo Strenger says Hamas bears direct responsibility for the fate of Palestinians living under its control.

March 15th

NEWS: Israel launches more airstrikes on Gaza, with no reported injuries, after more rocket attacks on southern Israel, but the truce is still being mostly observed by both sides. The BBC looks at how Palestinians in Gaza have dealt with years of war and blockade. A Hamas official says its leadership is unlikely to fulfill the agreement with Pres. Abbas this year. A new report by an Israeli human rights group says Israel has been illegally seizing land in the occupied West Bank. The World Bank warns that the Palestinian financial crisis and Israeli restrictions are threatening the institution-building program. Israel is going forward with plans to destroy Palestinian solar energy panels in the occupied territories. The Israeli military plans to acquire more long-range rockets. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish says the latest round of violence helps set the stage for a potential third intifada. Maath Musleh says Palestinian youth should continue to demand national unity. Xinhua says the recent violence features new and old elements. Gideon Levy says Israelis have displayed a "destructive apathy" about the flareup of violence and deaths in Gaza. Ben Harris outlines the deep confusion behind recent state legislation in the US about Israel's occupation. Mya Guarnieri critiques Israel's policy of extra-judicial executions. Bilal Hassan reiterates that confronting Israeli occupation is a task for the whole Arab world, not just the Palestinians. Dawoud Abu Lebdeh asks if the "Arab Spring" has been good for the Palestinians or not. George Hale describes the difficulties journalists face dealing with Hamas. Peter Beinart says Jewish-American groups cannot be selectively opposed to one-state rhetoric depending on what perspective its coming from.

March 14th

NEWS: An unannounced truce between Israel and militants in Gaza appears to be holding. Some Israelis regard the violence as a "mini-drill" for a conflict with Iran. Israeli officials say relations with Egypt are stable in spite of the flare-up. Islamic Jihad holds a "victory rally" in Gaza. Israelis are urged to avoid Turkey due to potential security threats. Israel's Druze community is divided over military service. The US and Jordan reportedly urge Pres. Abbas to stop threats to dismantle the PA. Palestinian members may play a key role in deciding the leadership race in Kadima. The EU is quietly pushing Israel to end impunity for violent settlers. COMMENTARY: Bradley Burston slams "leftists who have no problem with rocket attacks against Israel." Khaled Abu Toameh says Hamas will now have to get used to the fact that Islamic Jihad is a major rival in Gaza. Yaakov Katz says the new truce won't last more than a few months. Ron Kampeas says after PM Netanyahu's Washington trip, Israel must now decide what to do about Iran. The National says Egypt's role in calming the Israel-Gaza violence shows it needs to play a larger regional role. Filippo Grandi says the BRICS are building a new partnership with UNRWA. The Jordan Times says Israel provoked the latest round of violence and asks why. Tariq Alhomayed says those Palestinians involved in the violence are fighting Assad's battle for him. Yossi Alpher says with the peace process on indefinite hold, people need to think of constructive alternatives. Ghassan Khatib says Palestinians are caught in the middle of tension between the West and Iran.

March 13th

NEWS: The latest round of cross-border violence between Israel and Gaza is being shaped by new rocket defense systems and the emerging political order in Egypt. An Egyptian-mediated truce is calming tensions, and a Hamas official says Egypt promised to increase fuel supplies to Gaza. Three more Palestinian civilians have been killed in the latest barrage. As tensions ebb, Israel allows some aid into Gaza. This is only the latest experience of war for the people of Gaza. A new report finds Palestinian children struggle to return to normalcy after being in Israeli prisons. Israeli journalist turned politician Yair Lapid says Palestinians are to blame for the impasse in negotiations. A delegation of Knesset members is boycotting the United States after an MK was denied a US visa due to membership in a banned foreign terrorist organization, Kach. Supposedly pro-Israel American lawmakers push bills recognizing Israeli rule in the occupied territories, apparently without realizing this is one-state advocacy. COMMENTARY: Avi Issacharoff says with the new fighting, Islamic Jihad is trying to upstage Hamas. Amos Harel says behind the scenes, both Israel and Hamas want the violence to end. Gershon Baskin says because the status quo is untenable, leaders need to be imaginative. Leonard Fein says the recent flap about Israel's national anthem reveals deep rifts between Jewish and Arab citizens. Fareed Zakaria hosts a discussion on Iran, Israel and a Palestinian state.Peter Beinart says Pres. Obama has betrayed his ideals when it comes to Israel. John Tirman says the greatest existential threat to Israel is its own policies. Gershom Gorenberg says PM Netanyahu and "his Republican friends" should "shut up" about bombing Iran. Aaron David Miller says the US and Israel are not well-aligned on Iran yet.

March 12th

NEWS: Cross-border violence between Israel and militants in Gaza continues. It began with the assassination of a noted Gaza militant by Israel. 21 Palestinians have been killed in the outbreak so far. The PLO envoy at the UN condemns Israeli "terrorism." Many rockets and missiles have also been launched at southern Israel. Former Mossad head Dagan says an Israeli attack on Iran would be pointless and the response devastating. Israel is still planning to demolish Palestinian solar energy plants in the occupied territories. Settlers in a major "unauthorized" outpost seem to have agreed on a plan to leave. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu needs to define what he thinks Israel is. Ha'aretz says Israel needs an anthem that can represent its Arab as well as Jewish citizens, but Michael Sussman defends the current one. Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff say the new violence between Israel and Gaza will likely wind-down by mid-week. Jeff Barak says a true friend of Israel would have acted towards it exactly as Pres. Obama has. Harriet Sherwood looks at weddings in Gaza. Jay Sekulow and Robert Ash says Israel has a legal case for attacking Iran but Adel Safty says Netanyahu has not made any convincing arguments. The National says Palestinian disunity is a crucial failure. Khaled Diab says cultural changes are making occupied East Jerusalem more livable. Rami Khouri says Israel's vision is walls and wars.

March 9th

NEWS: The former head of Israeli intelligence urges caution towards Iran, and calls Mitt Romney's rhetoric on the subject “irresponsible.” The Israeli public seems to be very wary of any military action against Iran. Hamas officials blame the PA for stalled unity talks. Hamas forces attack journalists in Gaza. A new study finds Palestinian women very vulnerable to violence from their husbands. Hamas apparently sends mixed messages on whether it would stay neutral in a conflict involving Iran. The PA steps up security measures at a holy site near Nablus. Israeli authorities say they're investigating the killing of a Palestinian man yesterday. Palestinian women detainees say they were severely abused in Israeli custody. Palestinian elections scheduled for May are unlikely to be held due to bickering between Hamas and Fatah. COMMENTARY: The New York Times hosts a debate between a range of Israeli commentators on whether Israel should accept a nuclear-free Middle East. Charles Krauthammer condemns Pres. Obama's policies towards Israel. Ha'aretz says Israel should distance itself from PM Netanyahu's “vulgar” language on Iran. Uri Savir says Israel needs to reevaluate its security posture due to regional changes. The BBC looks at Netanyahu's persistent “duck analogies.” The Forward says the Obama-Netanyahu conversations on Iran were a win-win for the two leaders. Alexander Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky say Israel should move quickly to bolster the Palestinian institution-building lead by PM Fayyad. Morgan Strong says Israel seems trapped in a cycle of endless conflicts.

March 8th

NEWS: A Palestinian man is shot and killed after reportedly stabbing an Israeli soldier near Hebron. Between concerns about the Arab uprisings and the Iranian nuclear program, Palestinian issues are being pushed to the sidelines. Hamas is continuing to distance itself from Iran. Israeli troops confront Palestinian protesters regarding another hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner. Israel says it's preparing its troops to fight in tunnels. Some Israelis are uncomfortable with PM Netanyahu's use of Holocaust analogies. Palestinian officials reportedly tell Jordanian officials that they will not resume negotiations without a settlement freeze. Fatah officials say talks with Hamas will not resume until their organization can operate freely in Gaza. The PLO calls on the Palestinian Election Commission to prepare to hold voting. Palestinian satirists are turning to the stage after being banned from TV. The presence of religious Orthodox Jews in the Israeli military is growing. Despite the hardships of occupation, Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza are training for the Olympics. COMMENTARY: Gideon Levy says Netanyahu is a "fear-monger." Bradley Burstyn asks if Netanyahu will be in real trouble if Pres. Obama is reelected in November. Jonathan Rosen says Obama has proven his commitment to Israel. Tareq Baconi says Hamas is trying to appeal to the Arab grassroots by identifying more with Arab Islamist movements rather than Iran. Hassan Haidar asks if Israel is more afraid of Iran or peace. Barry Rubin says the present Palestinian leadership is unlikely to want another intifada.

March 7th

NEWS: Pro-Israel activists are having a significant impact on the Washington conversation regarding Iran. PLO officials say the Middle East does not need more wars. The UN says exports from Gaza are still greatly inhibited. A top US military officer says the stalemate in Middle East peace talks endangers American interests. Israeli NGOs demand a probe into alleged abuse of a Palestinian woman by Israeli internal security. Palestinian citizens of Israel say the state is investing in their sector, but not enough. Senior Israeli rabbis warn against provocative actions by Jewish extremists at Jerusalem holy sites. Asharq Al-Awsat profiles Palestinian diplomat Nasser al-Kidwa, who will serve as deputy as to Kofi Annan, the joint UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria. Palestinian unity talks remain deadlocked. Palestinian officials say they're going to give Israel a deadline for resuming negotiations. COMMENTARY Aaron David Miller looks at the roles of Israel and Iran in the US election-year politics. David Sanger looks at divisions between the US and Israel regarding Iran. The LA Times says Pres. Obama has made a convincing case on continued diplomacy with Iran. Thomas Friedman says Obama may be the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House. Shmuel Rosner says a one-state arrangement would be a recipe for bloodshed. George Bisharat says Israeli courts don't provide justice for Palestinians. Ha'aretz says PM Netanyahu returned from Washington empty-handed. Elias Harfoush says Israel has ensured that the Iran issue is a major one in the US presidential campaign. Yossi Alpher sees worrying precursors of a possible third intifada, and Ghassan Khatib says the situation is volatile and unpredictable. Saleh Abdel Jawad says no one can know if another intifada is developing, but the issue raises important questions

March 6th

NEWS: The Sinai gas pipeline is again attacked. PM Netanyahu meets Pres. Obama at the White House, and Israeli officials say they are “disappointed” with the meeting. Palestinians say they are also “disappointed but not surprised” by the tenor of the meetings. PA officials warn new austerity measures may not offset the financial crisis. A Palestinian Constitutional Court postpones a hearing on whether the PA president can also serve as prime minister. Two Palestinian children are killed by abandoned Israeli ordnance in the West Bank. Gazans turn to generators given constant electricity outages. A Hamas leader says the organization would not get dragged into any conflict involving Iran. COMMENTARY: The New York Times says neither Israel nor Iran should doubt Obama's resolve. Bruce Ackerman says there is an important legal case against any attack on Iran. Robert Malley and Aaron David Miller say a unilateral Israeli pullback from parts of the West Bank could be useful. The CSM asks if Israel is formally an "ally" of the United States at all. Merav Michaeli says Palestinian women in Israel face a double-discrimination. Gershon Baskin says something must be done urgently to save the two-state solution. Emad El Din Adeeb says Israel believes another intifada may be imminent, and if it does emerge, it must be peaceful. Linda Heard agrees another intifada may be coming. Musa Keilani says many Israelis think a destabilized, disintegrated Syria is in their interests. Connie Bruck explains how those quoted in an ad by the Emergency Committee for Israel strongly objected to the advertisement.

March 5th

NEWS: In Israel there is both support and condemnation of a Palestinian citizen of Israel judge who stayed silent during the national anthem. Israeli officials cast a wary eye on the Sinai. Some supporters of Israel pressure Pres. Obama on the issue of Iran. Speculation grows that Israel may be considering special forces actions in Iran. Palestinian officials say they will give Israel a new deadline to agree ground rules for another round of talks. Former PM Olmert will address the next J Street conference. A new poll suggests that most Americans still have more positive views of Israel than the Palestinians. Palestinians find it hard to sell food products in Israel. Pres. Abbas may be preparing to send PM Netanyahu a letter asking about Israel's position regarding peace talks. In spite of turning against the Syrian regime, Hamas has not made any progress with the United States. Divisions in Hamas are threatening the primacy of its Politburo leader. Relations between Egypt and Hamas grow warmer, but are still distant. COMMENTARY: Colin Kahl says advocates of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities should recall the outcome of the attack on Iraq's nuclear program. Doyle McManus says the US should not let itself be compromised by Israeli brinksmanship. Ha'aretz says Israel should heed Obama's advice on Iran. Chemi Shalev says Obama's hard-core detractors won't be swayed no matter what he says. Ron Kampeas looks at the upcoming Obama-Netanyahu meeting. Mostafa Zein says all US administrations look at the Middle East only through the Israeli lens. Rami Khouri says Hamas' break with Syria signals the end of the “resistance axis.” Oudeh Basharat says the time has come for Palestinians to speak out against atrocities in Syria. David Remnick says Israel's democracy is imperiled by extremism. Daniel Levy says Israeli domestic politics make it less likely that there would be any attack against Iran.

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