NEWS: An Israeli NGO says PM Netanyahu settlement policies are clearly aimed at thwarting the creation of a Palestinian state, as approval for new settlement units increased 300% in 2012. Israel's separation barrier is spurring wildcat construction projects in Palestinian areas beyond its route. Left-wing parties in Israel are hoping to regain popularity by focusing on economic issues. If he wins the election, Netanyahu's choice of coalition partners will be a major factor in shaping Israel's foreign policy. Palestinian activists attempt to return to their protest site in the area of the highly controversial E1 settlement project. Hamas and Fatah officials will meet again in Cairo to discuss national reconciliation. Remarks attributed to Pres. Obama about Netanyahu raise controversy in Israel. An Israeli military investigation finds that 80 bullets were fired without justification in the killing of a Palestinian by occupation forces. Palestinian activists launch a new reading campaign during long taxi rides. Palestinians say a youth killed by occupation forces in the famed protest village of Budrus was shot in the back while fleeing. A pro-Palestinian activist is suing Air France for denying her passage on a flight to Israel. COMMENTARY: Anshel Pfeffer takes issue with some of David Remnick's portrayal of extremist Israeli politician Naftali Bennett. Chemi Shalev says it's not Obama who is intervening in Israel's elections, it's reality. Ha'aretz says Israel should listen to Obama's warnings. Orly Azoulay says Obama is settling scores with a hostile Israeli leadership. Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu says moderate parties in Israel can't form a powerful coalition without Israel's Palestinian citizens. The Jerusalem Post says Palestinian citizens of Israel should vote for more pragmatic leaders. Barry Rubin says both Israelis and Palestinians are now likely to be mainly spectators in the transformation of the broader Middle East. Two prominent Israeli and Palestinian religious leaders say they have a responsibility to change mindsets. Ben Caspit says Obama intends to revive the peace process and deal with the Iranian nuclear file. Hazem Balousha thinks recent statements by Hamas leaders show more flexibility towards Israel. Daniel Levy says the Israeli election lacks any defining issue.

NEWS: The apathy of Arab voters in Israel is a growing concern. PM Netanyahu rebuffs concerns about Israel's settlement policies attributed to Pres. Obama. An Israeli court convicts an American immigrant settler for killing two Palestinians in 1997. Polls continue to suggest hardline parties will do well in the coming Israeli election. Pres. Morsi claims his 2010 remarks about Israelis have been taken "out of context." An Israeli court approves, and occupation forces complete, the evacuation of a Palestinian protest structure in the crucial E1 area slated for increased settlement. Palestinian officials call for international intervention to save the peace process with Israel. The PA says Saudi Arabia has pledged to grant it $100 million. The gulf between Israeli women political leaders highlight the country's deepening divisions. Israel's high court says the military should stop evicting Palestinians from a south Hebron area designated as a "firing zone." Former PM Olmert accuses the Israeli government of rejecting peace. Israel offers tenders for another 198 settlement housing units. Palestinians accuse Israeli troops of provoking a Palestinian boy before shooting him in the back. COMMENTARY: Eric Yoffie says Jewish Americans are fed up with feeling undervalued by Israel. Ha'aretz says Israeli forces must stop routinely killing Palestinians in the occupied territories. George Hishmeh looks forward to the Hagel confirmation hearings. Reuven Pedatzur says Israeli security services think a third Palestinian intifada is only a matter of time. Rana Baker says the occupation is undermining Palestinian identity. Shai Feldman says Netanyahu's choice of coalition partners will determine the impact of Israel's election. Raja Shehadeh calls the Palestinian E1 protest a "countersettlement." David Frum looks at why Israel is turning so far to the right. Leon Hadar says the Arab-Israeli conflict has a secular past, but maybe a religious future. Ronen Bergman says it's unfair to equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. AP interviews Israeli political newcomer Yair Lapid.

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