May 29th


Recent arrests overshadow the Palestinians’ bid to oust Israel from FIFA. (New York Times/.Times of Israel)

Palestinian human rights organizations address an open letter to FIFA Pres. Blatter in support of the Palestinian Football Association's bid to have Israel suspended. (Ma’an)

Pro-Palestinian protesters interrupt the 65th FIFA Congresshours before the body is set to vote on Israel's ejection from world soccer. (Ha’aretz/Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

PM Netanyahu says the anti-Israel push at FIFA shows Palestinians oppose Israel’s right to exist. (Times of Israel/Ynet)

Pres. Rivlin says the BDS campaigns in universities and the FIFA bid are strategic threats to Israel. (PNN/Times of Israel)

A proposal is currently being made to add the Israeli military to the blacklist of the UN council for Children and Armed Conflict but UNSG Ban will likely oppose it. (PNN/Times of Israel/Ynet)

The Joint List proposes Knesset bills to create a new Arab city in the North and an Arab university. (Jerusalem Post)

Egyptian authorities close the Rafah crossing after it was open for three days. (Ma’an)

Israeli occupation forces detain five Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma’an)

US defense aid to Israel is likely to increase after 2017 due to Iran deal fears.(Reuters)

Syrian rebels capture the last town in the Idlib province. (Reuters)

The UN’s humanitarian chief Amos paints a harrowing portrait of savagery in Syria's civil war and urges the UNSC to take collective action. (Reuters)

ISIS militants have alternated between terrorizing residents and courting them in their takeover of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. (New York Times)

Pentagon leaders are trying to "fine tune" US strategy for ousting ISIS from Iraq, in light of the Ramadi debacle. (AP)

The IAEA says Iran has provided some information about one of two open items in a UN nuclear watchdog investigation into whether it may have researched an atomic bomb. (Reuters/AP)

Pres. Blatter says scandal-plagued FIFA may have avoided its current problems if Russia and Qatar had not been chosen as hosts of the next two World Cups. (Reuters)


Iyad Abu Gharqoud recounts his experiences as a Palestinian soccer player living in the occupied West Bank. (|New York Times)

Anshel Pfeffer gives six reasons why it won’t be a bad thing if FIFA boots Israel. (Ha’aretz)

Raphael Ahren says Netanyahu backs the “general idea” behind the Arab Peace Initiative. (Times of Israel)

Hana Salah says Hamas is struggling with the emerging Islamist parties in Gaza. (Al-Monitor)

Carolina Landsmann says Israel must not use Judaism to justify the occupation. (Ha’aretz)

Aaron David Miller explains why Pres. Obama’s recent outreach to the American Jewish community isn’t going to amount to much of anything at all. (Foreign Policy)

Fareed Zakaria says nobody is willing to fight for Iraq’s survival. (Washington Post)

The Washington Post says the US can do more to help Iraq fight ISIS. (Washington Post)

Amir Taheri says the Khomeinist regime can no longer play the role of both a responsible nation and an adventurous revolution. (Asharq al-Awsat)

Mohamed Chebarro says Nasrallah’s latest attacks on friends and foes show a schism, not a fracture in his leadership in Hezbollah, (Al Arabiya)

George Hishmeh looks at new “Obama image.” (Jordan Times)

The Daily Star says Qatar must speak up on the recent FIFA scandals. (Daily Star)

May 28th


Former PM Blair steps down as the Quartet Envoy in the Middle East. (Reuters/New York Times/AFP/JTA/The National)

Pres. Rivlin challenges a longstanding taboo on talks with Hamas, saying he favors dialogue with everybody. (AFP/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel)

FM Fabius says he will visit the region in order to try pushing the French proposal for the relaunch of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. (Times of Israel/Reuters/Jerusalem Post)

EU Foreign Policy Chief Mogherini says violence is inevitable without peace talks. (Times of Israel/AFP)

Palestinians refuse to back down on a threatened vote to suspend Israel from FIFA after talks with Pres. Blatter. (AFP/Times of Israel)

Hamas criticizes the “politicized and biased” Amnesty International report. (Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

A Swedish company was reportedly used to cover up the sale and transfer of a West Bank church compound to settlers funded by an American millionaire. (Ma’an)

Christian schools in Israel accuse the government of cutting their funding as a pressure tactic to get them join the Israeli public school system. (AP) 

Israeli authorities leave posters in a town in occupied East Jerusalem notifying owners that the property is needed for urgent military purposes. (Ma’an)

Sen. Graham vows “violent pushback” to protect Israel in the UN. (Ha’aretz)

A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. (Ha’aretz)

ISIS posts photographs online which it said were taken in Palmyra and appeared to show its ancient ruins unharmed. (Reuters)

The leader of the Nusra Front says his group was focused on capturing Damascus. (Reuters/AP) 

A campaign led by Shi'ite paramilitaries to drive ISIS from Iraq's Sunni heartland was rebranded after criticism that the name chosen for the push was overtly sectarian. (Reuters)

Def. Sec. Carter is seeking ways to improve and speed up the program to train and equip Iraqi forces. (AP)

The World Health Organization says 8.6 million people, or about a third of the country’s population, are in “urgent need of medical help.” (New York Times)

Saudi Arabia designates two senior officials of Hezbollah as terrorists. (Reuters)

France warns it is ready to block a final deal between Iran and the P5+1 unless Tehran provided inspectors access to all installations, including military sites. (Reuters/New York Times)

The Obama administration's lead nuclear negotiator Sherman is leaving her post this summer. (AP/New York Times/Ha’aretz)

Sec. Kerry will address AJC’s annual Washington conference just weeks before a deadline on an Iran nuclear deal. (JTA)


The National says in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, innocent Gazans are caught in the crossfire. (The National)

Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu “zig-zags” on the two-state solution. (Al-Monitor)

Ha’aretz says both the Israeli army and Shin Bet are in favor of issuing more work permits for the people of Gaza. (Ha’aretz)

Ron Ben-Yishai says the recent rocket fire challenges Israeli and Hamas leaderships. (Ynet)

Ben Sales looks at how the FIFA corruption scandal can affect Israel. (JTA)

Michael Young writes about the possible consequences of Pres. Obama's failures in Syria while chasing a deal with Iran. (The National)

Phillip Smyth says the Syrian regime is gearing up for a counteroffensive that relies on Iran’s money and Shiite foreign fighters to push back against ISIS. (Foreign Policy)

Joyce Karam says Hezbollah must change its goals and scope of its mission in Syria if it wants to spare itself from turning this into a quagmire. (Al Arabiya)

John McLaughlin explains how ISIS could win. (Washington Post)

Faisal Al Yafai says America already tried imperialism in the Middle East – and it failed. (The National)

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor says Lebanon should restore presidential power. (Al Arabiya)

The Forward looks at the disgraceful imprisonment of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian in Iran. (The Forward)

May 27th


Israel strikes a number of sites in Gaza after a rocket lands near the Israeli port of Ashdod.(Reuters/Ma’an/PNN/JTA/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

DM Ya’alon blames Islamic Jihad for the latest rocket fired at Israel. (AP/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel)

PM Netanyahu says Hamas is responsible for all fire from Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)

Hamas says they have arrested the Gaza rocket launchers. (Ynet)

Egyptian officials demand that “Israel hold its aggression" and practice restraint toward Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)

An Amnesty International report says Hamas committed war crimes against Palestinian civiliansin Gaza during last summer’s war. (Reuters/AP/New York Times/JTA/AFP/Ynet)

Egypt reopens its Rafah border crossing with Gaza for two days. (AFP)

Israeli occupation forces continue demolitions in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma’an)

Israeli forces shut down a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. (Ma’an)

Violations against female Palestinian journalists by Israeli military forces and Palestinian security forces have tripled since 2010. (Ma’an)

Iraq’s Shi'ite paramilitaries say they had taken charge of the campaign to drive ISIS from thewestern province of Anbar. (Reuters/New York Times/Washington Post/The National)

FM Zarif says the Yemen war will end up harming Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)

UNSG Ban says he asked his Special Envoy to postpone Geneva peace talks planned for May 28.  (Reuters/AP)

Seven members of a Yemeni family are killed in an overnight strike by Saudi-led warplanes. (Reuters)

A French diplomat says the P5+1 and Iran will probably miss an end-of-June deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement. (AP)


Israel Harel says yesterday’s Gaza rocket shows the “quiet isn’t so quiet.” (Ha’aretz)

Avi Issacharoff says Hamas leaders have an interest in keeping things calm after yesterday’s flareup, but only to a certain extent. (Times of Israel)

Ron Kampeas says on two-states, tensions between Pres. Obama and Netanyahu have calmed for now. (JTA)

Raphael Ahren asks if Netanyahu is “two-faced” on the two-state solution. (Times of Israel)

Neri Zilber says Israel’s coalition government is a shaky mess but Netanyahu’s “wheeling and dealing” have cemented his hold on power. (Foreign Policy)

Ha’aretz says integrating Palestinian citizens of Israel into the planning agencies wouldn’t solve all the problems, but it would increase trust. (Ha’aretz)

Linda Gradstein says Palestinians are planning to begin using solar, wind and geothermal power in an effort to cut their dependence on Israeli energy. (The Media Line)

Hassan Hassan writes on responses to the mosque bombing in Saudi Arabia and and the soul-searching over radicalism and sectarianism it has engendered. (The National)

Sholto Byrnes says It's time for the US to rethink its historical view of the Iraq invasion and its responsibilities. (The National)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed looks at Turkey’s recent involvement in the Syrian war. (Al Arabiya)

Eyad Abu Shakra says a full year has passed since Lebanon’s presidency became vacant. (Asharq al-Awsat)

Jamal Khashoggi looks a how a “Libyan Taif agreement” would look like. (Al Arabiya)

The New York Times says Iran’s refusal to try a Washington Post reporter in public is the latest travesty in a shameful case. (New York Times)

May 26th


PM Netanyahu has reportedly offered to renew peace talks with Palestinians on borders of settlement blocs. (AP/PNN/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel)

Palestinians reject Netanyahu’s proposal to discuss settlement borders. (Ha’aretz)

Netanyahu appoints former Amb, Dore Gold to run the foreign ministry.(New York Times/JTA/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel)

Egypt opens its border with Gaza to allow stranded Palestinians to return home. (AP)

The Arab League warns from the collapse of the educational process in Palestine due to the Israeli occupation. (PNN)

Iran will reportedly pull Islamic Jihad’s funding over group’s neutrality on Yemen. (Times of Israel)

Gaza's electricity distributor accuses Israel of refusing to repair a 12 megawatt grid supplying power to Gaza City. (Ma’an)

Egyptian navy forces shoot and injure Gaza fishermen. (Ma’an)

PM Hamdallah pledges $50,000 to the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar east of Jerusalem that is currently facing forced displacement by Israeli forces. (Ma’an)

Israeli occupation forces detain 20 Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma’an)

Israel thanks the US for blocking a resolution that would have opened discussions on making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone. (JTA/Ha’aretz)

Iraq announces the launch of a military operation to drive ISIS out of the western Anbar province. (AP)

VP Biden reassures PM al-Abadi of the US commitment to help fight ISIS in an effort at damage control after Def. Sec. Carter questioned Iraqi troops' desire to fight. (Reuters/AP/New York Times)

Canada says Iraqi forces must become much more effective. (Reuters)

The US and Turkey agree "in principle" to give air support to some forces from Syria's mainstream opposition. (Reuters/AP)

Tens of thousands of people turn out at a mass funeral in eastern Saudi Arabia for 21 Shi'ite Muslims killed last week in a suicide bombing claimed by ISIS. (Reuters/AP/The National)

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian goes on trial on espionage charges behind closed doors in Tehran. (Reuters/AP/New York Times/Washington Post/The National)


Ahmad Melhem says since the Vatican recognized the state of Palestine, Palestinians are hoping more European states will follow suit. (Al-Monitor)

Uri Savir says France is urging Israelis and Palestinians to resume negotiations in anticipation of an international peace proposal being presented. (Al-Monitor)

Matthew Ayton asks what role the EU can play in negotiations between Israel and Palestine. (The National)

David Horovitz says its past time for Netanyahu to act on his conviction that Israel must not become a bi-national state.(Times of Israel)

Oudeh Basharat says with one hand the hypocritical Pres. Obama condemns Israel, and with the other he signs a deal to supply it with arms. (Ha’aretz)

Aeyal Gross says apartheid in Israel is about more than just segregated buses. (Ha’aretz)

Nahum Barnea compares and contrasts Israel to Turkey. (Ynet)

The Washington Post profiles Israel Harel, a longtime settlement activist. (Washington Post)

Aaron David Miller explains why, from Syria to the two-state solution, the Obama administration should thin out outcomes, not comprehensive solutions. (Foreign Policy)

Hussein Ibish says if the real goal of the US is merely contain ISIS in Syria, rather than completely destroy it, then the Obama Administration should come clean. (The National)

Elizabeth Dickinson says with the deadly suicide bombing of a Saudi mosque, ISIS may be debuting a new strategy: lone-wolf attacks inside the kingdom. (Foreign Policy)

Khaled Almaeena says the sectarian threatens Saudi national unity. (Al Arabiya)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says Hezbollah leader Nasrallah is now threatening Shiites in Lebanon. (Asharq al-Awsat)

Taylor Luck says Jordan can no longer afford its humanitarian generosity.(The National)

Rami Khouri explores the idea of a joint Arab force. (Daily Star)

May 22nd


Pres. Obama says PM Netanyahu’s anti-Arab remarks will likely have foreign policy consequences. (Ha’aretz)

Israel’s new deputy FM Hotovely says Israel owes no apologies for its policies in the Holy Land. (AP/Times of Israel/Ynet)

new World Bank report warns Gaza’s economy is on the “verge of collapse.” (AP/AFP/PNN/Times of Israel)

The Greek government plans to hold a parliamentary vote on recognizing Palestine as an independent and sovereign state. (PNN)

Palestinian boy is critically injured after Israeli forces shoot him with a rubber-coated steel bullet in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma’an/JTA/Ha’aretz)

An Israeli court rules to release imprisoned Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar. (Ma’an/PNN/Ha’aretz) 

Jewish settlers are turning a church compound into a new outpost in the occupied West Bank. (Ha’aretz/PNN)

Palestinian soccer player is detained by Israeli security personnel at the Allenby crossing with Jordan. (Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

Two hundred Palestinians above the age of 60 from Gaza head to Jerusalem to pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Ma’an)

ISIS says it has full control of Syria’s Palmyra. (Reuters/Washington Post)

Insurgents in Syria seize a hospital from the government forces in the Idlib province. (Reuters)

The US admits two children were likely killed by an American air strike in Syria in November. (Reuters/AP)

In Palmyra and Ramadi, ISIS carried out a strategy of attrition, weakening the opposition for a crushing strike. (New York Times)

Despite Obama’s endorsement, US officials are questioning whether PM al-Abadi is too weak to bridge the sectarian divide. (Reuters/AP/New York Times)

Obama pledges to elevate Tunisia as a major non-NATO ally of the US. (Reuters/AP)

senior US official is in Israel to discuss the possibility of a compromise that would someday ban nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. (Reuters/AP/JTA/Ha’aretz)

Obama says he has a personal stake on ensuring that negotiations with Iran produce an agreement that keeps Tehran from producing a nuclear weapon. (AP)


Ha’aretz says the international community is not willing to buy Netanyahu’s deceit anymore. (Ha’aretz)

Adnan Abu Amer interviews former Hamas advisor Ahmed Yousef. (Al-Monitor)

Jeffrey Goldberg interviews Obama. (The Atlantic)

Amos Harel says Hamas is torn between a long-term truce and a renewed war. (Ha’aretz)

Raed Omari says most of the region’s emergent problems are the direct outcome of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. (Al Arabiya)

Ben Sales interviews former Sen. Lieberman. (JTA)

Alan Philps asks whether the shared cause of fighting ISIS militants might have the effect of creating unity in Iraq. (The National)

The National says the capture of Palmyra should be added to the long list of atrocities in Syria’s civil war. (The National)

Eugene Robinson asks why the US should fight for Iraqis if the Iraqi army is not going to fight for itself. (Washington Post)

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor says relying on the US for security is a mistake. (Al Arabiya)

May 21st


French UNSC resolution reportedly sets a 18-month deadline for an Israeli-Palestinian deal. (Ha’aretz/Times of Israel/Ynet)

PM Netanyahu tells EU Foreign Policy Chief Mogherini he is committed to a two-state solution. (JTA/Ha’aretz/Ynet)

Norwegian FM Brende warns Netanyahu that pressure over Palestinians will resume after the Iran deal. (Ha’aretz)

The World Bank transfers $77 million from its Palestinian Reform and Development Plan Trust Fund to the budget of the PA. (Ma’an)

The IMF calls for more donor aid to support the recovery of the West Bank and Gaza economy, citing an uncertain outlook for the Palestinian territories. (AFP)

DM Ya’alon says his shelved plan to prevent Palestinians from travel on Israeli lines initiated purely for security reasons. (Times of Israel)

Former FM Lieberman urges Netanyahu to cancel talks with Joint List leader Odeh. (Times of Israel/AFP/Jerusalem Post)

Israel approves the construction of 90 settlement units in Har Home settlement south of Jerusalem. (PNN)

The Palestinian Football Association rejects an Israeli proposal to address its grievances and will move forward with a motion to expel Israel from FIFA. (JTA)

bomb explodes near the Bank of Palestine branch in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza. (Ma’an)

Palestinians in Gaza are reaching beyond the blockade through start-ups. (AFP)

The US plans to sell thousands of bombs and munitions to Israel in a $1.9 billion deal.(AFP/JTA/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel)

ISIS seizes full control of both ancient and modern Palmyra in central Syria. (Reuters/AP/New York Times/Washington Post/The National)

The New York Times looks at the ancient ruins of Palmyra. (New York Times)

Iraqi forces say they thwarted a third ISIS attack east of Ramadi. (Reuters)

The US plans to deliver 1,000 anti-tank weapons to Iraq in June to combat ISIS suicide bombings. (Reuters/New York Times)

ISIS's Egypt affiliate urges followers to attack judges. (Reuters)

The Saudi-led coalition hits an international humanitarian aid office in northern Yemen, killing five Ethiopian refugees and wounding ten. (Reuters)

Houthi leader Abdul-Malek al-Houthi backs new UN peace talks in Geneva. (AP)

FM Fabius says Iran wants 24 days before international inspectors could visit its nuclear sites in the event of a suspected violation of a deal with the P5+1. (AP)


The National says attempts to segregate buses in the occupied West Bank foreshadow more racist legislation to come. (The National)

Ha’aretz says segregated buses for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are only the tip of the “occupation's iceberg.” (Ha’aretz)

Amos Harel says Israel cannot bury the damage of the Palestinian bus separation proposal. (Ha’aretz)

Avi Issacharoff says the FIFA vote on booting Israel may not succeed, but it’s already boosted the political standing of former Palestinian security head Rajoub. (Times of Israel)

Peter Beinart looks at how the American Jewish establishment foists its isolation from Palestinians on American politicians. (Ha’aretz)

Shlomi Eldar says Israel is silent while Hamas is digging more tunnels in Gaza. (Al-Monitor)

David Ignatius says interagency battles are hurting the US’ fight against ISIS. (Washington Post)

Joyce Karam looks at how ISIS differs from Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. (Al Arabiya)

Michael Young says destroying heritage sites is no more intolerable than destroying humans. (The National)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed looks at the special relation between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. (Al Arabiya)

Pres. Obama and Pres. Essebsi write about Tunisia’s democratic journey. (Washington Post) 

Michael Young explains why Hezbollah may seek to change the Taif agreement. (Daily Star)

May 20th


PM Netanyahu suspends a proposed plan to segregate Palestinians from Israelis on West Bankbuses, overruling his own defense minister. (Reuters/AP/New York Times/PNN/JTA/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel/Ynet/Jerusalem Post)

Pres. Rivlin lauds decision to cancel Palestinian transportation edict. (Jerusalem Post)

The UN Middle East Envoy Mladenov tells the UNSC that Gaza is “desperate and angry” over the devastation following last summer's war. (Ha’aretz/AFP/Jerusalem Post)

Israel denies talks with Hamas on seaport and prisoner swap. (Times of Israel)

Israel’s new Cabinet approves a plan for development at the Western Wall. (AP/JTA)

Israel’s deputy DM, MK Ben-Dahan, will not assume responsibility over the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration in the occupied West Bank. (Ha’aretz)

The Palestinians place a proposal to suspend Israel from FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, on the agenda for FIFA’s annual congress. (New York Times)

Sweden will contribute $5 million toward the May salaries and pensions of 70,000 PA employees across the occupied West Bank and Gaza. (Ma’an)

Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian man in Jerusalem claiming he attempted to run over border guard police officers with his vehicle. (Ma’an/PNN/JTA/Ha’aretz/Times of Israel)

An Israeli court sentences a Palestinian man to eight months of prison over Facebook posts. (Ma’an/JTA)

Pres. Obama meets with his advisors on the situation in Iraq and reaffirms support for PM al-Abadi. (Reuters/New York Times)

Iraqi forces say they defeated an overnight ISIS attack near Ramadi. (Reuters)

The Pentagon says Iraqi troops abandoned US military vehicles and artillery pieces when they fled ISIS fighters in Ramadi (AP)

Analysts say Ramadi’s fall shows US comments on Iraq were too optimistic. (Reuters/Washington Post)

The Saudi-led coalition targets army bases and weapons depots in Sanaa. (Reuters)

Ayatollah Khamenei says he will not accept "unreasonable demands" by the P5+1 and rules out letting inspectors interview its atomic scientists. (Reuters/AP)


Henry Siegman says the US must stop blocking UN action on Mideast peace and start pushing for a tough UNSC resolution that forces both parties to negotiate a deal. (New York Times)

Rami Khouri says Europe can reverse the US failures on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Daily Star)

Ben Sales asks if Israel will be barred from FIFA. (JTA)

Ron Kampeas asks if the Vatican’s recognition of the state of Palestine will impact Jewish-Catholic ties. (JTA)

Yossi Mekelberg says between obliviousness and defiance, Israel is sleepwalking towards international isolation unless it changes course sharply and quickly. (Al Arabiya)

David Ignatius says the fall of Ramadi is a blow to US strategy. (Washington Post)

Hassan Hassan says the ISIS’ momentum is continuing and anyone telling you is in decline isn’t paying attention. (Foreign Policy)

The National says the Iraqi government has been too reactive in its attacks on ISIS and must pursue a new approach. (The National)

Hussein Ibish looks at the recent achievements of the US-GCC Camp David summit. (AGSIW)

David Rothkopf explains why Obama’s bet on letting friends and enemies “slug it out in the Middle East” is so risky. (Foreign Policy)

May 19th


The PA and Hamas criticize PM Netanyahu’s “united Jerusalem” statement. (Times of Israel/Ha’aretz)

EU Foreign Policy Chief Mogherini says Europe wants a central role in Middle East peace. (AP/Times of Israel/Reuters)

The question of whether Pope Francis called Pres. Abbas an “angel of peace” or actually said “may you be an angel of peace,” causes political discord. (New York Times/AFP/Times of Israel)

secret meeting was reportedly held between Israeli diplomats and diplomats from Arab countries that do not have open diplomatic relations with Israel in Jordan. (Ma’an)

Jordanian newspaper ad-Dustour reports that Hamas and Israel have been involved in secret talksin recent months. (Ma’an)

Israel’s new interior minister, Silvan Shalom, is appointed chief peace negotiator for any future peace talks with the Palestinians. (JTA/Ha’aretz)

Senior Palestinian officials say without freezing settlement construction and accepting 1967 borders, there is no point in peace talks with Israel. (Ha’aretz/Jerusalem Post)

Netanyahu will meet with FIFA Pres. Blatter. (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces demolish three commercial stores belonging to a Palestinian in the Silwan neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma’an)

The Palestinian community in Yemen appeals to the PA for protection and solidarity. (PNN)

Palestinian patients are finding help in Israeli hospitals. (AP)

The UN says nearly 25,000 people fled the Iraqi city of Ramadi after it was attacked by ISIS. (Reuters)

American officials say the use of Shi'ite militias to try to take back the Iraqi city of Ramadi from ISIS risks unleashing more “sectarian bloodletting.” (Reuters)

ISIS fighters seized advantage in Ramadi by striking during a sandstorm. (New York Times)

The fall of Ramadi to ISIS weakens the rule of PM al-Abadi. (New York Times)

ISIS militants look for collaborators after capturing the strategic city of Ramadi. (AP)

The Saudi-led coalition resumes military operations in Yemen after truce expires. (Reuters/Washington Post/The National)

Iran is using its sea power in the Gulf to show it will not be cowed by Washington's newly assertive Arab allies. (Reuters)

The trial of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian detained in Iran for months will begin next week. (AP/Washington Post)

King Abdullah accepts the resignation of the interior minister and two police chiefs were asked to retire following the handling of tensions in Ma’an. (The National/Jordan Times)


Akiva Eldar asks if the US will endorse a French UN resolution on Palestinian statehood. (Al-Monitor)

Robert Swift looks at the causes for growing poverty in occupied East Jerusalem. (The Media Line)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says ISIS is a cancerous state that is expanding and becoming more dangerous in both Iraq and Syria, and threatening Saudi Arabia and Jordan. (Al Arabiya)

The Washington Post says the fall of Ramadi exposes Pres. Obama’s weak ISIS strategy. (Washington Post)

David Kenner interviews two Sunni leaders who explain why locals opposed to ISIS and Iraqi officials in Baghdad have so far failed to unite against their common foe. (Foreign Policy)

The Daily Star says Iraq has become the “militia nation.” (Daily Star)

Paul Krugman says the Iraq war, based on lies, was more than a mistake.  (New York Times)

Jamal Khashoggi explains why Saudi Arabia will not accept another ceasefire in Yemen. (Al Arabiya)

Faisal Al Yafai says the hands-off approach America is pioneering in its last years in the Middle East will also reach Asia – with serious consequences for its Asian allies. (The National)

May 18th


Pres. Obama says a “big overarching deal” between Israel and Palestinians is not possible in the next year. (Ha’aretz)

Pope Francis praises Pres. Abbas as an “angel of peace” during a meeting at the Vatican. (AP/AFP/JTA)

Pope Francis canonizes two nuns from 19th century Palestine. (AP/New York Times/Washington Post/The Media Line)

Palestinian FM al-Maliki says he asked the ICC to set a date for submitting the case files pertaining to the settlements and war crimes lawsuits against Israel. (PNN)

A Likud source reportedly says the defense minister will decide on settlement construction.(Ha’aretz)

Extremist Jewish settlers uproot hundreds of olive saplings n the Palestinian town of al-Shuyoukh in the occupied West Bank. (Ma’an/PNN)

Israeli nationalists and police clash with Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem as crowds ofJewish hardliners march across the city to mark the 48th anniversary of its capture. (AFP/New York Times/PNN/JTA/Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

Jordanian Commerce Minister al-Alion meets with PM Hamdallah to discuss Palestinian-Jordanian economic relations. (Ma’an)

Israeli navy forces open fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza. (Ma’an/PNN)

historic bathhouse offers Palestinians respite from Gaza’s hardships.(AP)

Shi’ite militias are preparing to deploy en masse to Iraq’s western province of Anbar after ISIS militants take over Ramadi. (Reuters/New York Times/Washington Post)

Oil prices rise after ISIS militants seize control of the key city of Ramadi. (Reuters)

The Saudi-led coalition resumes airstrikes against Yemen’s Houthis in Aden overnight. (Reuters/AP/New York Times)

Sec. Kerry says Houthi movements make a Yemen ceasefire “difficult.”(Reuters)

An Iranian cargo ship carrying aid and activists crosses into the Gulf of Aden. (Reuters/The National)

An Egyptian court sentences former Pres. Morsi to death. (New York Times)


The National says the Vatican’s recognition of a Palestinian state will boost the prospect of a two-state solution. (The National)

Rami Khouri says the lack of resolution on the Palestine issue has contributed to the dire condition of the Arab world today, and wider regional tensions with Israel.  (Daily Star)

Sharif Nashashibi says remembering the Nakba is a collective duty. (Al Arabiya)

Ha’aretz says Israeli opposition must raise its voice and pose alternative to the government's “iron wall” facing the Palestinians. (Ha’aretz)

The Washington Post profiles Palestinian official Nabil Shaath. (Washington Post)

Gideon Levy says Israel’s suspension from FIFA could be a game changer. (Ha’aretz)

Uri Savir interviews Palestinian university students on the occupation and corruption. (Al-Monitor)

Avi Issacharoff and Ziv Koren say residents of Bethlehem care more about making a living than starting an intifada, but some fear rampant unemployment could change that. (Times of Israel)

Mohammed Othman says difficult living conditions and lack of funding or royalties have discouraged Gaza's novelists. (Al-Monitor)

Hussein Ibish says the US-GCC talks at Camp David have been promising but the real progress will occur in the conversation to follow. (The National)

The New York Times says the recent Camp David summit reflects sharp and persistent differences over a deal intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program. (New York Times)

Muath al Wari says the US must clarify its intentions in the region. (The National)

Dov Zakheim says Obama has brought Arabs and Israelis together — out of distrust of the US.  (Foreign Policy)

May 15th


Pres. Abbas sets preconditions to restarting peace talks with Israel. (Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli ministry of construction issues tenders for the building of 85 new housing units in the Givat Zeev settlement in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)

At least 21 Palestinians are injured after clashes break out in Nablus with Israeli military forces. (Ma’an\JTA\Times of Israel)

Three Palestinians are injured by live fire during a Nakba Day protest in Gaza. (Ma’an\Times of Israel)

An Israeli demolition plan for a Bedouin village sparks outcry. (AP)

The PA security forces uncover and arrest a Hamas cell near Hebron in the West Bank. (Jerusalem Post)

Jewish settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Nablus. (Ma’an)

Hamas says ISIS has no foothold in Gaza. (Ma’an\Ha’aretz\Reuters)

PM Netanyahu’s new rightist coalition government is sworn in. (Reuters\New York Times\Washington Post\JTA)

The New York Times profiles new Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. (New York Times)

Israel is reportedly turning to the media and diplomacy to head off an almost inevitable new round of confrontation with Hezbollah. (Ha’aretz)

A renewed joint commitment to build the regional defense system is one of the outcomes of the Camp David summit between the US and the GCC. (Reuters)

Pres. Obama vows to keep Arab allies secure amid Iran deal fears. (AP\New York Times\The National)

At least 10 people are killed in heavy clashes in Yemen despite a five-day humanitarian truce. (Reuters)

The UN urges the Saudi-led coalition to speed up imports of vital goods in Yemen. (Reuters)

ISIS militants raise their black flag over the local government compound in the Iraqi city of Ramadi. (Reuters\AP)

ISIS releases an audio recording that it said was from the leader al-Baghdadi. (New York Times\Washington Post) 

UNESCO Chief Bokova says she is alarmed by developments in Syria, where clashes with ISIS militants are getting closer to the ancient city of Palmyra. (AP\New York Times\The National)


Jimmy Carter and Gro Harlem Brundtland say a lasting settlement in the Holy Land is still possible but Israel must end the siege on Gaza first. (Foreign Policy)

The New York Times says the Vatican’s decision to formally recognize Palestine as a state comes at an especially bleak moment for peace efforts with Israel. (New York Times)

Hazem Balousha says the Hamas-Fatah divide is crippling Palestine’s judiciary. (Al-Monitor)

Ha’aretz says ending the occupation must be a top priority for the new Israeli government. (Ha’aretz)

Israel Harel says no real effort was made to promote construction and societal plans so that Jews and Arabs could live in a truly unified Jerusalem. (Ha’aretz)

Raphael Ahren says while Netanyahu fantasizes about a détente with the Arab world, the US and EU are ready to turn up the heat on his new government. (Times of Israel)

Ben Caspit says Israel and Saudi Arabia feel that the US is playing a bad hand in its negotiating with Iran. (Al-Monitor)

David Laitin and Marc Jahr say Syrian refugees can revitalize Detroit. (New York Times)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says Iranian threats against Gulf countries are a direct message to the White House. (Al Arabiya)

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