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.

August 17th

NEWS: Pres. Peres criticizes speculation in Israel about a unilateral attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. A former senior Israeli official says government leaders told him they could be dissuaded from any such attack. DM Barak says only the Israeli government will decide on whether or not to attack Iran, but the debate in Israel continues to rage. Six Palestinians are wounded by a firebomb attack in a suspected Israeli settler “price tag” terrorist action. Palestinian gays look for a safe space for social activism for their cause. Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons are pressing for prisoner of war status. The Israeli Foreign Ministry is continuing to press the issue of Jewish refugees and immigrants to Israel from Arab states to offset the Palestinian refugee issue. Hamas and Egypt are reportedly broadening their security coordination regarding extremists In Sinai. Peace Now complains about an Israeli military commander's assertion that Israel has sovereignty in occupied Hebron. The American peacekeeping force in Sinai is being threatened by growing levels of extremist violence. Asharq Al-Awsat cites unnamed sources as saying no Palestinians were involved in the attack on Egyptian forces in Sinai. COMMENTARY: Roger Cohen says Israel should resist the temptation to attack Iran. L. Michael Hager says the world cannot tolerate a preemptive Israeli attack against Iran. Yoel Marcus says Israel is damaging itself with its psychological warfare against Iran. Nir Hasson says he interviewed people who saw Jewish Israeli youths attempting to lynch Palestinians. Dennis Ross thinks Israel's threats against Iran are mainly intended to spur greater international determination on confronting Iran's nuclear program. Benny Morris thinks Israel is really preparing to attack Iran. Jonathan Ben-Artzi describes what it's like to be a Jewish Israeli pacifist. Colin Kahl says Pres. Obama has been a great friend to Israel. The Economist says Gaza may be ready for a major building boom.

August 16th

NEWS: Two Palestinians are killed as the Syrian government shells a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus. Unidentified explosions occur in a city in southern Israel. Some Israeli estimates anticipate a month-long conflict after a potential strike on Iranian nuclear targets. Families of slain Iranian nuclear scientists plan to sue Israel. Israel is raising the quota of Palestinian workers from the occupied territories to 30,000. Tension is rising on the Israel-Lebanon border. Muslim extremists are suspected in a bombing attack on a hair salon in a refugee camp in Gaza. Hundreds of Israelis petition IDF pilots to refuse potential orders to bomb Iran. In defiance of Israel's attorney general, government ministers decide to hand a building in occupied Hebron over to Israeli settlers. Egyptian troops are being reportedly deployed in northern Sinai without Israel's prior approval. Palestinians flock to Jerusalem as Israel eases restrictions for Ramadan prayers. The United Church of Canada votes to boycott goods produced in Israeli settlements, including occupied East Jerusalem. Secular Israelis are gentrifying some settlements. A ships sailing from Indonesia to Australia that includes 28 Palestinian passengers has been missing at sea for 48 days. COMMENTARY: Daniel Byman and Natan Sachs say Israel must move quickly to stop settler terrorism in the occupied West Bank. Adam Gonn says chances of Palestinian success at the UN later this year are slim. Ha'aretz says rather than being angry with the EU, Israel should examine its own conduct regarding settlements. Eitan Haber says Israeli leaders need to listen to what American officials are telling them regarding Iran. Attila Somfalvi says that message is to stop pretending that Israel on its own can do much damage to Iranian nuclear progress. Frank Lautenberg says Mitt Romney and other Republicans are “playing politics” with Israel. Jonathan Rosen says Israel's government isn't despotic and the threats the country faces are real and existential. Kenneth Stern says in spite of its repeated failures, the BDS campaign remains a danger to Israel. The National says Israeli politicians pushing for war with Iran may be acting with regard to personal and political gain. Aaron David Miller says the US doesn't really care that much about political freedom or peace in the Middle East. Hussein Ibish suggests American politicians should read Bernard Lewis more carefully and add other historians to the mix.

August 15th

NEWS: Individual “lone soldiers” from countries around the world are volunteering for Israeli military service. A Palestinian prisoner detained by Israel is refusing water after 2 months on hunger strike. An Israeli human rights group is asking a court to prevent the demolition of five Bedouin villages in the Negev desert to make way for new Jewish farms. Israel is training its diplomats in using Twitter and other social media. PM Netanyahu has reportedly decided to bury the Levy Committee Report rather than dealing in any way with its recommendations. Israel's ambassador to the US says Israel's clock on Iran is “ticking faster." Sec. Panetta says he doesn't think Israel has made any decision. A former Obama administration official says Israeli threats towards Iran should be taken “very seriously.” PA spokesman Khatib resigns. Despite Israeli restrictions, the PLO holds a Ramadan event in occupied East Jerusalem. Egypt is reportedly about to resume efforts to foster Palestinian national reconciliation. The South African government refutes Israel's claims that by boycotting settlement goods, it is boycotting Israel itself. Israel protests the inclusion of several localities on an EU list of Israeli settlements. The Lebanese Army is relocating in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp. The PA grants 4.7 million NIS to West Bank universities. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish reviews a new book on key terms in the writings of Edward Said. Avi Issacharoff asks what's the point of Israel's psychological warfare against Iran. Carlo Strenger looks at a new film that refuses to portray Israeli soldiers as either monsters or heroes. Brandon Davis contrasts an Israeli settlement and a nearby Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank that share the same name, but little else. Emily Hauser says proposed new restrictions barring undocumented migrants and stateless Palestinians from filing suit in Israeli courts are part of a broader pattern of an Israeli siege mentality. Frida Ghitis says Israel may benefit from the “Arab Spring." Daniel Byman and Natan Sachs look at the rise of settler terrorism in the occupied West Bank.

August 14th

NEWS: Palestinians are seeking international support for renewed efforts at greater recognition at the UN. Egypt will reportedly reopen its border crossing with Gaza, as Palestinians are stranded waiting to return. Israel is engaged in an unprecedented debate about the prospect of war with Iran. DM Barak is delaying approval of full university status recognition for a school in an Israeli settlement. The Israeli Defense Ministry asks for several billion additional shekels for 2013. An Israeli human rights group calls on authorities to reopen investigations of police misconduct against Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem. Israel is moving forward with plans to evict 1500 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to make way for a military firing range. Palestinians brace for power cuts as Israel's electricity company threatens to cut supplies due to unpaid debts. Palestine opens a consulate in the Dominican Republic. Pres. Morsy is reportedly considering asking for amendments to the peace treaty with Israel, particularly regarding Egyptian sovereignty in the Sinai Peninsula. A Palestinian male ballet dancer is challenging cultural expectations. Israeli diplomats say South Africa's boycott of settlement products, including those from occupied East Jerusalem, amounts to a boycott of Israel itself. Avi Dichter resigns from the Knesset to become Minister of Home Front Defense. Organizations in the United States launch a campaign to prevent Hezbollah and other designated foreign terrorist organizations from using social media such as YouTube and Twitter. Palestinian refugees who fled Syria to Lebanon are mired in a bureaucratic limbo. Palestinians are increasingly concerned about aggressive Israeli moves in “Area C." COMMENTARY: ATFP Pres. Ziad Asali says Palestinian culture should be fairly evaluated. The New York Times says it's irresponsible for Israel to be talking about war with Iran when diplomacy is still viable and ongoing. Avi Issacharoff says Gazans are hoping that Egypt will ease its clampdown on smuggling tunnels. Alex Fishman says the shakeup at the top of the Egyptian military doesn't bode well for relations with Israel. J.J. Goldberg says Pres. Obama should welcome Palestinian moves for UN nonmember observer state status, but with certain conditions. Ben Caspit says Israeli leaders should stop chattering about attacking Iranian nuclear facilities and decide whether to do it or not. Gershom Gorenberg says few Israelis appreciate the true value of the effectiveness of Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. Mohamed Fadel Fahmy says no one really knows what happened in the Sinai attack against Egyptian forces. Aaron David Miller says Israel will continue to have its state but, under the current circumstances, Palestinians, other Arabs and Iran will not allow them to " completely enjoy it."

August 13th

NEWS: The US and Egypt increase security talks after the Sinai attack. The Israeli tourism industry is booming. Memorials for victims of suicide attacks proliferate on a road in Jaffa. The Knesset is considering a bill that would segregate prayer times at the al-Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Palestinians remain divided over an official's visit to Auschwitz. More Gaza families visit relatives in Israeli prison. 11 Palestinians are killed and many more injured in a car pileup at Bala junction east of Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank. A Palestinian media watchdog group says violations of media freedoms in the occupied territories were slightly lower in 2012 and 2011, the bulk still being committed by Israeli occupation authorities. Another Egyptian military official suggests Hamas probably knew about the Sinai attack in advance. Rhetoric and pro forma preparations for a potential attack on Iran are in full swing in Israel. Former Israeli settlers evacuated from Gaza are growing distant from the settler movement. COMMENTARY: Amira Hass says Palestinians are moving to exercise authority in “Area C.” Akiva Eldar says it's amazing that many Israelis still prefer the prospect of regional war over peace. Carlo Strenger says if things continue as they are, by the end of PM Netanyahu's term in office, the two-state solution will be dead as he has intended all along. Eitan Haber says Israel's present core of leadership lacks the experience to make momentous decisions such as those regarding Iran. Nathan Guttman looks at efforts in Congress to raise the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab states to offset the Palestinian refugee final status issue. Ben Caspit asks if Netanyahu and DM Barak are really determined to attack Iran, and Dimi Reider says military officials may defy them anyway. Brandon Davis looks at competing Israeli and Palestinian views of an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank built on privately owned Palestinian land. Pierre Klochendler looks at how Israelis and Palestinians struggle over archaeology and its interpretation in occupied East Jerusalem.

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