NEWS: Current and former US officials are reportedly assuring Israel that the United States is prepared to use force against Iran if necessary. Israel announces 850 more new settler housing units in the occupied West Bank, and plans to "legalize" 13 outposts it says were not built on privately-owned Palestinian land. The US says the new settlement plans "undermine peace efforts.” Fatah and Hamas officials reportedly agree on the makeup of the new Palestinian government. Palestinian officials say the White House has denied press reports that Pres. Obama expressed doubts about Palestinian intentions regarding peace. Doctors say a hunger striking Palestinian prisoner is near death, as Israel releases another hunger striker. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israelis attack an elderly Palestinian in Jerusalem. Palestinian Monetary Authority Chairman Al-Wazir warns about an escalation in the PA financial crisis. Denmark joins South Africa in banning the label “made in Israel” on settlement products. A Palestinian court has sentenced a former aide to the late Pres. Arafat to 15 years in prison on corruption charges. COMMENTARY: Adam Gonn and Dave Bender say PM Netanyahu is stronger than ever after the defeat of a bill on settlement outposts. Ghassan Olayan asks if the world has room for the threatened village of Battir in the occupied West Bank. Ha'aretz says, in spite of his settlement bill victory, Netanyahu is still basically "bowing and scraping" to settlers through a raft of other measures. Muhammad Shtayyeh says Israel and the Palestinians are facing a last-chance moment to prevent "an apartheid future." Donniel Hartman says settlers are trying to train other Israelis to believe that settlement evacuation is impossible. Rachel Shabi looks at growing similarities and alliances between the extreme right in Israel and Europe. Rubik Rosenthal says Israel's wars in Lebanon backfired. Wray Herbert describes a new study looking at rage and opinion related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. David Margolick profiles Netanyahu.

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