Hamas scored a victory with the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli solder Gilad Shalit. But its concessions to Israel show fragility.
As details emerge of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, in which 1,000 Palestinians will be exchanged for one Israeli soldier, Palestinians are disappointed with who won't be released while Israelis worry about renewed violence.
US authorities linked Iran to a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US. Few contests have defined the modern Middle East like that between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The UN statehood bid, led by Hamas rival Mahmoud Abbas, has deepened the rift between Gazans and their Islamist rulers.
The Palestinian Authority move for recognition at the UN is designed to shake up the status quo. Proposals that change nothing just won't cut it.
One Gazan couple named their daughter after the month during which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presented his request for Palestinian statehood to the United Nations.
Mahmoud Abbas's statehood bid at the United Nations earned him jubilant praise from Palestinians in the West Bank, although Hamas opposition to the bid kept Gaza mostly silent.
Everyone from Hamas supporters to shopkeepers in Ramallah have backed the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN, but some warn that failure could lead to a third intifada.
Hamas has yet to officially declare its stance on the Palestinian statehood bid, to be launched at the UN this week. If the bid fails, the Islamist movement could expand its power in the West Bank.
Israel faces trouble on all sides – in Egypt, Syria, from Iran, and in the Palestinian push for statehood at the United Nations. These challenges make a peace agreement on a two-state solution more urgent than ever.