Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashal met in Cairo recently to try to resolve their differences. The outcome is not totally clear yet, says commentator Ghassan Michel Rubeiz. But what is certain is that it will take more than handshaking and an embrace for Palestinians to settle their deep divisions.
Unity for the Palestinians will be achieved only when the people collectively build a common vision on how to tackle the occupation, says Ghassan Rubeiz, noting the encouraging moves towards nonviolence at the grassroots and among some key protagonists.
There are serious questions to be asked about the unity pact between the two Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas, says Harry Hagopian. But meanwhile the Israeli prime minister remains dwarfed by the real significance of the Arab Spring, and a huge block to progress towards a just peace for all. He is still a tactician at best, with precious little strategic foresight.
With global attention focussing on news of BBC journalist Alan Johnston's release from captivity in Gaza, a leading church agency says it is time to end the isolation of the Palestinian authority if peace is to be possible.
Heads of the historic churches in Jerusalem have welcomed the Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum launched in Jordan last week. They want to work with those of all faiths and none to achieve a breakthrough in the deadly stalemate.
The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, plans to visit member churches and Christian communities in the strife-ridden occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.
Fighting between the Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip has highlighted the urgent need for the international community to end the isolation and blockade on the Palestinian government, say churches and NGOs.