NEWS: Israel says a bomb blast in Tel Aviv yesterday was "criminally motivated," and not political. Palestinian towns and villages are being affected by extreme weather. Israeli officials are trying to expedite controversial settlement expansion plans in occupied East Jerusalem. Israel exported $7 billion in arms in 2012. Critics within the Likud party say its new, more extreme leadership is abandoning some of the values of founder Menachem Begin. Palestinians say settlers destroyed over 200 olive trees near Nablus. Masked gunmen claiming to be Fatah dissidents in Nablus say they will confront Palestinian security services if arrested. The UAE is donating $50 million to a housing project in Gaza for Palestinian former prisoners of Israel. A news photograph depicts a settler woman and child using their bodies to prevent Palestinians from plowing their own fields in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian activists have been erecting structures in the strategic E1 area slated for settlement expansion by Israel. The Obama administration confirms that the PLO's upgrade in status at the UN violated no American laws. Palestinian protesters say Israel is increasingly using "skunk liquid" against them. COMMENTARY: The New York Times says "Israel, the Palestinians, Arab states and the international community all have a stake" in making sure the PA has the requisite funding to function properly. Mahmoud AbuRahma says Europe should rethink its role regarding Gaza border crossings. Ha'aretz interviews Amos Oz, who says the Netanyahu government is the most "anti-Zionist" ever. Anshel Pfeffer says the extremist and annexationist Israeli politician Naftali Bennett is not only stealing votes from PM Netanyahu, he's also outdoing him in command of English and messaging. Eyal Megged says a recent interview with former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin should have been the political end of Netanyahu, but has made barely a ripple. Randa Haider says both Israelis and Palestinians will suffer if Israel's extreme right prevails in the coming election. Uri Savir says everyone might benefit from it, but a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation is up to the two parties. Hillel Halkin says Israeli voters don't face any good options. J.J. Goldberg critiques the management styles and "failures" of Netanyahu and DM Barak. Ben Caspit says the recent spat between Israel's officials and diplomats will not end well. David Horovitz says Israel's mainstream right has shifted to the extreme right.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017