Palestinians originally hoped that Marwan Barghouti, compared by some to former South African prisoner-turned-president Nelson Mandela, would be included in a prisoner swap finalized today.
Journalist Nicholas Blanford's comprehensive account of the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel is well-paced and gripping.
Palestinian prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit deal were welcomed home in Ramallah amid an unusual display of support for Hamas.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was opposed in principle to the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. But his willingness to make an unsavory deal in the end highlights his pragmatism.
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.
Palestinian leaders need equal footing with Israeli leaders – not to mention popular backing – for any peace process to succeed. Statehood sets the stage not only for productive negotiations, but also for lasting regional peace.
Since last year's flotilla debacle killed nine Turkish activists, Israel has cultivated ties with Greece, offering the debt-ridden country generous military aid.