NEWS: A former Israeli soldier is seeking Palestinian citizenship. An informant for Israel on Hamas is on a speaking tour in Israel. Aid groups and UN agencies urge Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza. The Israeli group Gisha says the Gaza blockade threatens a two-state solution. A Palestinian sniper in Gaza shoots at an Israeli farmer across the border. Hamas' de facto interior minister in Gaza says the organization will never make peace with secularism. PM Netanyahu vows to expand an Israeli settlement. An Israeli court acquits Palestinian youths accused of a firebomb attack in occupied East Jerusalem. Pres. Obama awards Pres. Peres the Medal of Freedom. A former aide to the late Pres. Arafat says Pres. Abbas has $100 million in assets. A new report says water in Gaza is unsafe to drink. The IOC warns that a refusal to compete against Israeli athletes would violate the rules of the Olympic Games. Hamas' popularity is continuing to plummet despite the Arab uprisings. COMMENTARY: Nathan Brown reviews five years of Hamas rule in Gaza. Michael Sfard says Zionism's revival of Hebrew as a spoken language has turned into an insidious instrument of repression. Gideon Levy says some Israeli MKs serve as an “affable face of evil.” Israel Harel says the world should not support UNRWA. Tal Harris and Jonathan Lyndon both separately say Israel must choose between settlements and democracy. Jonathan Rosen says the Israeli government's program to promote employment among Palestinian citizens is only a first step towards equality. Hanan Greenberg says Israel's challenges lie much closer to home than Iran. Dimitris Bouris and Stuart Reigeluth say EU leaders need to move quickly to save a two-state solution in their own interests.

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