NEWS: Syria sends a letter to the UN asserting its right of self-defense against Israel. Israel may be considering another attack inside Syria. Israeli warplanes reportedly overfly southern Lebanon. Incoming Secretary of State Kerry is expected to move cautiously on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Palestinians in Gaza denounce chronic power shortages after a family is killed in a tragic fire. Israeli authorities claim to have disrupted a Hamas cell in the occupied West Bank planning to seize an Israeli soldier. The PLO is reportedly considering plans to join more multilateral agencies. An independent Palestinian politician claims Pres. Abbas is planning to convene a PLO "reform summit." The senior IDF officer in the West Bank tells occupation commanders to show "restraint" in dealing with Palestinians. Israel approves 364 new settlement housing units in the occupied West Bank. The head of the PA security services denounces an anti-corruption commission report as biased and "self-serving." COMMENTARY: The UN Human Rights Council issues a damning report on Israeli settlement activity. Barak Ravid says the new UN human rights report on Israel paves the way for more isolation and possible sanctions. Michael Doran says, despite invocations by Secretary of Defense-designate Hagel, the Suez crisis is no model for US-Israel relations. Rebecca Vilkomerson thinks the Hagel appointment is a sign of healthier US-Israel relations. Louis Fishman says Israeli-Turkish relations should be a priority. Talal Salman says Lebanon can learn from Israel's domestic policies. Ben Capsit explains what he thinks is the logic of the Syrian attack for PM Netanyahu. The National says neither Israel nor Syria stand to benefit from an expanded conflict. The Daily Star says both Israel and Syria have no shame. Leonard Fein says the rise of Israel's new political star, Yair Lapid, could end very quickly. Amal Al-Hazzani complains that Israelis are familiar with Arab culture while Arabs are almost entirely ignorant about Israel. George Hishmeh says Israel is creating Palestinian ghettos. Akiva Eldar says Israel is about to lose its long-standing narrative about Palestinian textbooks, given the findings of a new study. Geoffrey Aronson thinks Hamas is in a good position to take over the PLO. Rami Khouri doesn't think the Israeli electorate has shifted to the center. Matt Hill says a two-state solution is actually within reach if Israelis and Palestinians still want it.

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