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December 30th


PM Netanyahu’s office said it never approved plans to build thousands of new houses in Jewish settlements in a particularly controversial part of the West Bank.  (JTA)

The US National Security Agency's foreign eavesdropping included phone conversations between top Israeli officials and US lawmakers and American-Jewish groups, the Wall Street Journal reported. (Reuters\Times of Israel\Ha'aretz)

An Israeli man has died of wounds sustained in an early December stabbing in the West Bank city of Hebron. (AP\Times of Israel)

PM Netanyahu opened a cabinet meeting by vowing that Jews would “remain forever” in Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs. (Times of Israel)

Clashes break out in Abu Dis following a funeral held for a Palestinian killed earlier this month, whose body was held by Israeli authorities for 26 days. (Ma'an)

Israeli forces tore down a building under construction in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Bahir. (Ma'an)

Artists in the Gaza Strip used graffiti and sand sculpture to bring color to the besieged enclave in the lead up to the new year. (Ma'an)

Days after ISIS issues statement warning Israel, Shin Bet voices concerns at growing influence of group's propaganda on Negev Bedouin, Israeli Arabs. (Ha'aretz)

U.S.-led forces have killed 10 ISIS leaders in air strikes, including individuals linked to the Paris attacks, a U.S. spokesman said, dealing a double blow to the militant group after Iraqi forces ousted it from the city of Ramadi. (Reuters\AP)

France has asked the EU to improve the detection of fake Syrian passports used by people trying to get into Europe after two of the suicide bombers in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks were found carrying such passports. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia denounced the killing of a prominent Syrian rebel leader, saying his death in a Russian air strike last week did not serve the cause of peace in Syria. (Reuters)

An annual tally by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows that at least 69 were killed in the line of duty, and that Islamic militants were responsible for 40 percent of the deaths. (New York Times)

Iranian Revolutionary Guards launch rockets near the U.S. aircraft-carrier Harry S. Truman and other warships as they were entering the Gulf, giving only brief notice in a "highly provocative" act. (Reuters)

A Bahraini F-16 jet taking part in a mostly Gulf Arab military campaign in Yemen crashed in southern Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)


David Kenner profiles two young, charismatic leaders in Israel and Turkey who are taking on right-wing governments and trying to transform their countries' politics. (Foreign Policy)

Peter Beinart says the new 'war on terror' has made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a sideshow. (Ha'aretz)

Amira Hass says Israel is giving the Palestinians a chance to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by the lone-wolf stabbers and transition to a popular uprising - but it won't work. (Ha'aretz)

Naomi Paiss says the bill requiring Israeli NGOs that receive foreign government funding to identify themselves is purely a political maneuver. (JTA)

Robert Swift asks if Israel’s NGO bill safeguards transparency or is an attack on freedom of speech. (The Media Line)

Raphael Ahren says Israel’s standing in the world is both fantastic and awful. (Times of Israel)

Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu has managed to appoint loyal officials to Israel's most sensitive legal positions, leaving him free to endanger Israel with his policies. (Al-Monitor)

David Ignatius says even after the nuclear deal, hard-liners sabotage economic “infiltration” from outsiders. (Washington Post)

The Washington Post says the Post’s Jason Rezaian is one of many members of the media who has been persecuted by governments. (Washington Post)

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