NEWS: New divorce laws are allowing Palestinian women to more easily initiate divorces on their own. A rocket fired from Gaza hits a house in southern Israel, with no injuries reported. PM Netanyahu announces he will address the UN in September and focus mainly on Iran. DM Barak says Egypt is determined to control Sinai. Palestinians denounce new Israeli plans to control more land in the occupied West Bank. Iranian leaders say they support Palestinian reconciliation. Settlers stone a Palestinian bus near Ramallah injuring five. Hamas says it plans to censor the Internet in Gaza, ostensibly to fight pornography. Many Western countries have travel warnings for Israel. FM Lieberman compares FM Al-Maliki to Joseph Goebbels. Deputy PM Ya'alon complains that the US is undermining Israeli military threats against Iran. A UN rapporteur for human rights condemns the Rachel Corrie verdict. Normal life continues in Tel Aviv in spite of rumors of war with Iran. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey says the US should not be complicit in an Israeli attack against Iran. Gaza is enduring a severe and protracted crisis over water. The rabbi of a major Israeli settlement says attacking innocent Palestinians is “a sacrilege.” Swiss experts reiterate their willingness to analyze the remains of the late Pres. Arafat but they warn time is running out. COMMENTARY: Chaim Levinson provides a primer on the ongoing dispute over a tiny settlement outpost. Ben Shalev looks at a new sound being explored by violinist-composer Nassim Dakwar. Yehuda Lukacs says Israel should join NATO. Hassan Barari thinks Israel might attack Iran even without prior warning to the United States. Rachel Dolev says women are shut out of the national security conversation in Israel. Emily Hauser looks at the history of extremist comments by Rabbi Yosef of the Shas party.

August 30th

NEWS: Palestinians say their next moves at the UN will be determined in the coming weeks. An Israeli court yet again rules that a small group of settler families from a tiny unauthorized outpost must relocate. A French murder investigation deepens the controversy about the death of the late Pres. Arafat. The Israeli government says it plans to start rounding up and expelling Sudanese migrants. The religious Shas party in Israel is reportedly wary of war with Iran. An Israeli police officer kills a Palestinian during an alleged carjacking. Pres. Abbas says he won't hold bilateral talks with Iranian leaders during the NAM summit. Palestinian athletes in Gaza face obstacles training for the Paralympic games. Hamas says its politburo office in Damascus is “still open.” Israeli occupation forces destroy numerous Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank. The University of California rejects an effort to create restrictions on free speech, especially regarding the Middle East conflict. Abbas reportedly tells a delegation of Israelis that “Israel is here to stay,” but that Palestine needs to be added to the map as well. COMMENTARY: Mahdi Abdul Hadi explains the Palestinian logic for Abbas attending the NAM summit. Yossi Verter says the settlers of "Migron" have only themselves to blame for court rulings against them. Gideon Levy says the Rachel Corrie verdict shows anyone protesting Israeli mischief is risking their lives. Carlo Strenger reiterates his view that the two-state solution "is dead.” Oren Yiftachel says Israeli colonization of the occupied West Bank is more dangerous to the country than any threat from Iran. Jonathan Rosen says it is willfully blind to ignore the damage done to the Israeli mindset by the occupation. Donald MacIntyre says the idea that Arafat was poisoned is a conspiracy theory, but widely believed in by Palestinians at all levels of society. Faik Tunay says Palestine is central to Israeli-Turkish relations. Hani al-Masri list three reasons why he thinks Israel is giving more travel permits to Palestinians.

August 29th

NEWS: A British eyewitness to the killing of Rachel Corrie contradicts the official Israeli account in a statement to the New York Times. Former commandos are coming to dominate Israel's politics. Egypt is reportedly negotiating with extremists in the Sinai Peninsula, as it simultaneously widens its campaign against them. FM Malki says Palestinians have put their renewed UN efforts on hold for now. A woman in Gaza is critically injured by Israeli forces. Two Palestinian cars are torched in the occupied West Bank. FM Lieberman invites Pres. Morsy to visit Israel. French authorities say they have opened a murder investigation into the death of the late Pres. Arafat, and a former senior Israeli official denies Israel was involved in any way in his death. PM Fayyad approves measures to counter the growing electricity crisis. A new report suggests that 40% of high school seniors in occupied East Jerusalem drop out. Fayyad will be making the case for statehood and introducing a new film about it at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. COMMENTARY: Anshel Pfeffer says the extreme right wing in Europe is now embroiled in a controversy over who to hate more: Muslims or Jews? Mordechai Twersky recalls a massacre of Jews in Hebron in 1929. Avi Issacharoff asks why, in the end, Hamas did not show up in Tehran during the NAM. The Jerusalem Post says the Rachel Corrie verdict should be a wake-up call for pro-Palestinian activists, but Hussein Ibish says it should be a wake-up call to Americans. The National says the verdict exposes the falsity of Israel's official narrative of Corrie's death. Natalia Simanovsky says the media missed the real importance of the visit to Auschwitz by an advisor to Pres. Abbas. David Horovitz outlines the bitter debate among Israeli insiders about the possibility of an attack against Iran.

August 28th

NEWS: An Israeli court rules that the state has no responsibility in the death of the American activist Rachel Corrie. Israeli schools are trying to address bigotry against Palestinians in the wake of the attempted lynching in Jerusalem. Israeli students in the extreme southern town of Sderot are now attending a rocket-proof school. Israel shells a Gaza compound after a rocket attack. Israelis are preparing gas masks and shelters in anticipation of a possible conflict with Iran. The UN suggests the Gaza Strip will become uninhabitable by 2020 if current trends continue. PM Netanyahu says the Etzion bloc of settlements south of Jerusalem are an integral part of Israel. Netanyahu suspends efforts to reorganize his personal investment portfolio. Human Rights Watch says the PA should investigate two incidents earlier this summer in which police beat protesters. Palestinian officials say Pres. Abbas will seek support for a renewed UN bid at the NAM conference. Israeli diplomats say FM Lieberman's attacks on Abbas are part of a campaign to discourage support for Palestinians at the UN. The PA says it is stopping recruitment and promotion due to its financial crisis. Increasing numbers of Palestinian students from occupied East Jerusalem are seeking degrees from Israeli universities. Pres. Morsy reassures Israel about his country's commitment to the peace treaty and security in Sinai, as Palestinian leaders reportedly express dissatisfaction with his government. Israeli officials are now claiming that the issue of Jewish refugees and migrants to Israel from Arab states is a “core issue” in negotiations with the Palestinians. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish argues Netanyahu and DM Barak have left themselves few good options in dealing with Iran's nuclear program. Amira Hass asks what can be learned from the Rachel Corrie case. Chris McGreal says the verdict reveals the Israeli "military mindset." Ha'aretz says Israeli settlement outposts are out of control. Gershon Baskin proposes a letter he thinks Abbas ought to send to the Israelis. Anat Hoffman says Israel must punish rabbis who preach hatred.

August 27th

NEWS: The family of Rachel Corrie awaits the verdict in their civil suit in Israel. Israel stops a large group of visiting activists from entering the occupied West Bank. Egyptian officials say that they have reopened the Gaza crossing point, but only for passengers. Israeli police have arrested suspects in a firebomb attack on a Palestinian taxi. 76 Egyptians are convicted in connection to an attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. Hamas leader Hanniyeh drops plans to travel to Tehran during the Nonaligned Movement conference. Palestinian sources say Iran was “forced” to withdraw its invitation to him. Israel is closing a key Jerusalem checkpoint, relied on by the residents of the Shoafat refugee camp. PM Fayyad reportedly consults with Bank of Israel Governor Fischer on further steps to deal with the PA financial crisis. Qatar is reportedly opening an office in Gaza to oversee reconstruction efforts. PA Attorney-General al-Mughni has reportedly resigned. The US and Israel are reportedly divided over the latest IAEA report on Iran. Amid war rumors, an Israeli cabinet committee approves proposed changes to PM Netanyahu's personal investment portfolio. Former Israeli soldiers issue a booklet detailing their mistreatment of Palestinian children. Palestinians and Israeli settlers are struggling for control over market stalls in occupied Hebron. COMMENTARY: Chemi Shalev argues an Israeli attack against Iran would help Pres. Obama get re-elected. Susan Hattis Rolef says there is no consensus about the Oslo Accords in Israel today. Liron Libman says Israel should take an Egyptian request to modify the peace treaty regarding security in Sinai very seriously. Mohammad Fadhel says Egypt, too, needs to rethink its Sinai strategy. Linda Gradstein looks at FM Lieberman's rhetorical attacks against Pres. Abbas. Emad El Din Adeeb says Arabs need to ask themselves what, exactly, they would do in the event of an Iranian-Israeli war. Ghassan Khatib and Yossi Alpher explain why they are deciding to close their bitterlemons website.

August 24th

NEWS: Clerics in Gaza complain that their counterparts in the West Bank did not consult them over changes, designed to protect women from violence, in the Palestinian divorce code. Hamas says three extremists in Gaza were involved in the recent attack on Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula. A Palestinian man in occupied East Jerusalem says he was unjustly and repeatedly tasered by Israeli police in front of his children. Former IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi comes out strongly against an Israeli attack against Iran. A Swiss laboratory reportedly agrees to analyze the remains of the late Pres. Arafat. Egypt's Defense Minister reaffirms the country's commitment to its peace treaty with Israel. US Amb. Schapiro says Israel's investigation into the death of Rachel Corrie is not credible. A senior Hamas official reportedly calls for the killing of Jews and Americans. Palestinians say Egypt has destroyed about a quarter of the smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza. FM Lieberman intensifies his attacks on Pres. Abbas, accusing him of “political terrorism.” COMMENTARY: The New York Times hosts a debate on whether support for Israel has hurt US credibility in the Middle East. Charles Krauthammer says Anthony Cordesman has provided the best roadmap for US policy towards Iran. Yossi Verter says PM Netanyahu can probably get a majority in the Israeli cabinet for attacking Iran if he wants one. Bradley Burston says South Africa is right to demand accurate labeling of settlement products. Yehudit Oppenheimer says the recent attempted lynching of a Palestinian by young Jewish Israelis in Jerusalem is the inevitable consequence of Israeli government policies. Hirsh Goodman says Israel should seize the opportunity to work with Pres. Morsy to secure the peace treaty with Egypt. Uri Savir says a second-term Pres. Obama may try to move forward on Palestinian statehood. Ephraim Sneh suggests ways of bridging differences between the United States and Israel over Iran. Felice Friedson denounces bullies in Jerusalem. Marwan Kabalan says the US doesn't have the stomach for world domination anymore. Roni Shaked says Israel needs to do more to combat settler terrorism. Oren Kessler says criticism is focusing on Netanyahu, but it's really DM Barak who is driving the push towards war with Iran.

August 23rd

NEWS: Israel's anxieties about Egypt are apparently growing. Israel protests new South African regulations requiring Israeli goods from the occupied territories to be clearly labeled. The PA thanks South Africa and urges the entire world to boycott Israeli settlement goods. Deputy FM Ayalon says South Africa is still an apartheid state. Hamas calls on Egypt to treat Gaza residents as it treats Israeli tourists in the Sinai Peninsula. Senior UN officials reiterate that the two-state solution is the “most realistic option” for Israel and the Palestinians. The PA says settler violence is undermining the peace process. The Israeli government says efforts to integrate the children of African migrants are harming Israeli students. Residents of one “unauthorized” settlement outpost criticize residents of another for agreeing with the Israeli government to relocate. DM Barak says FM Lieberman's recent comments calling for the ouster of Pres. Abbas harmed Israel's interests. The EU and the UN call on Israel to cease a particularly destabilizing settlement project, Har Homa. Experts call on the US government to formally designate Jewish Israeli extremists as “terrorists.” COMMENTARY: Bradley Burston says Israel is threatened by Islamophobia, not Islam. Ha'aretz says Lieberman is a political ticking bomb, but the Jerusalem Post says he has a point. The Daily Star blasts Lieberman's remarks, and condemns the Israeli government in general. Jonathan Schanzer says Hamas has the same problems with corruption the PA does. Elliott Abrams thinks Congress should authorize the use of force against Iran. George Hishmeh bemoans "the American silence on Israel.”

August 22nd

NEWS: Israel asks Egypt to remove tanks from the Sinai Peninsula in spite of ongoing security concerns. Egyptian officials say all their recent military activity in Sinai was coordinated with Israel. FM Lieberman calls on the international community to help oust Pres. Abbas and hold new Palestinian elections. The Palestinian leadership condemns Lieberman's remarks while PM Netanyahu distances himself from them. Abbas calls for the protection of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. Former FM Al-Kidwa has been appointed deputy joint special representative for Syria by the UN. The governor of Ramallah and al-Bireh, Layla Ghanam, says Muslim-Christian unity among Palestinians is indispensable. Israeli pro-settler activists demand Israel demolish Palestinian structures in the occupied territories. A 15-year-old girl, Bashaer Othman, has become mayor of a small Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian women in the occupied territories are taking up competitive car racing. COMMENTARY: Carlo Strenger wonders what Lieberman was trying to achieve with his remarks about Abbas. Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff say when Netanyahu and DM Barak go silent, Lieberman begins to talk. J.J. Goldberg says the Israeli defense community is united against Netanyahu and Barak's ideas about attacking Iran. Zvi Bar'el says hatred of Arabs has become the new test of loyalty among some Jewish Israelis. Shmuel Sandler and Efraim Inbar say Israel's left may be withering but its democracy is flourishing. Linda Gradstein looks at Israel's concerns about Egyptian military deployments in the Sinai Peninsula. Jill Jacobs says the attempted lynching of a Palestinian by Jewish Israeli youth should prompt introspection. The National says the attack was a symptom of society in crisis. Analysts worry it indicates the rise of a “generation of hate” in Israel. Rami Khouri says activists around the world are telling Israel that ethics matter.

August 21st

NEWS: An eyewitness to the attempted lynching of Palestinians by Israeli youth in Jerusalem posts an account of the attack on Facebook. Several young Jewish Israelis have been arrested in connection with the attack. Jewish extremists are also suspected in an attack on a Palestinian home in the occupied West Bank. Rejecting settlers' appeals, Israel's Attorney-General's Office again orders the evacuation of an “unauthorized” settlement outpost. Iranian officials say any attack on their country by Israel would lead to Israel's own “annihilation.” Israeli defense officials reportedly consult a senior rabbi over the possibility of an attack on Iran. Palestinian citizens of Israel fear they lack access to bomb shelters and other protections Jewish citizens have. UN officials say a strong West Bank economy is not enough to ensure stability, and progress towards creating a two-state solution is required. The Egyptian crackdown on smuggling tunnels is being felt by Palestinians in Gaza. The wall Israel is constructing along its border with Egypt is almost complete. COMMENTARY: Shai Feldman says the debate in Israel over a possible attack on Iran is over, and an attack is not going to happen. Aaron David Miller agrees that Israel is not going to attack Iran in the foreseeable future. Reuven Pedatzur says comments by PM Netanyahu undermine the prospect of creating a workable deterrence strategy regarding Iran in the future. Aluf Benn says the debate over whether or not to have a war with Iran has strengthened Israeli democracy. Sefi Rachlevsky says Netanyahu is placing Israel in an exceptionally dangerous situation regarding Iran. Gerson Baskin says Pres. Obama should save Israel from making a mistake on Iran. Bernard Avishai says he doesn't think Iran could provide a “nuclear umbrella” to others in the region. Dov Weisglass says instead of criticizing Pres. Peres and others over the Oslo agreements, Netanyahu should thank them. Michael Cohen says plans by the Israeli military to demolish Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills are contrary to Jewish values. The Media Line interviews Munib Al-Masri.

August 20th

NEWS: With crossings closed, the pilgrimage to Mecca has become virtually impossible for Palestinians in Gaza. Pres. Ahmadinejad calls the Israeli government “an insult to humankind.” Kadima leader Mofaz demands clarifications from PM Netanyahu about a possible military action against Iran. PA debt is affecting the Palestinian private sector. Four Egyptian soliders are wounded in another attack by militants in Sinai, as Hamas asks Egypt to exclude Israel from security cooperation regarding the Peninsula. The US and Israeli navies are holding joint maneuvers in the Mediterranean. Israel's Deputy PM condemns “outrageous” attacks by Jews against Palestinians. Israeli police say hundreds of Jewish Israelis witnessed a lynching attack against Palestinians but did nothing to stop it. Five suspects are arrested in that attack. Netanyahu promises Pres. Abbas that Israel will catch whoever is responsible for a firebomb attack on a taxi that injured six Palestinians. Hamas arrests an extremist suspected in the death of an Israeli laborer in June. Israeli university heads petition the High Court to reverse a decision granting university status to a school in a settlement. COMMENTARY: Carol Williams asks if Israel is “crying wolf” regarding a possible attack on Iran. James Traub asks if Netanyahu and DM Barak are “crazy enough” to attack Iran against the wishes of the US and the majority of Israelis. Daniel Nisman and Avi Nave explain why, in their view, Israel expects an Iranian retaliation to have a limited impact. Leonard Fein questions Netanyahu's assertions that Iran is an existential threat. Uzi Rubin warns an attack on Iran could bring a massive missile response. Amira Hass outlines how Israel uses military orders to seize Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. Jeff Barak says it's a sad state of affairs when Israel's 89-year-old president must serve as the isolated "voice of reason" in government. The Jerusalem Post says tolerance of violence and bigotry against Palestinians in Israel must stop. Ben Lynfield says little drama is expected this year if Palestinians resume efforts at greater recognition at the UN.

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