* Poll: 70% of Americans see Israel as U.S. friend More than two-third of Americans regard Israel as an ally despite recent diplomatic tensions.
* 'Hamas ready for Obama's ME peace plan' Hamas is prepared to deal "positively" with US President Barack Obama's Middle East peace plan.
* Following election triumph, Fatah sets out to 'liberate' Gaza At the start of the week, a member of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, died in the Palestinian Authority's Juneid Prison.
* Arabs to EU: Make Israel expose nukes Arab states are lobbying the European Union for support in their drive to force Israel to open up its secretive nuclear program to international perusal.
* Assad to visit Iran to congratulate Ahmadinejad Syrian President Bashar Assad was scheduled to embark on an official visit to Tehran next week.
* Beirut braces for Hizbullah rally marking 'victory over Israel' Hizbullah will mark three years since the "victory over Israel" in the Second Lebanon War with a rally in the Dahiya neighborhood in south Beirut on Friday evening.
* Pakistan's tribal areas to get parliamentary reps Pakistan lifted a ban on political activities in its tribal regions on Friday.
* Syria insists on Turkish mediation in peace talks Syrian Ambassador to Turkey Nidal Kablan said his country would not give up on the Turkish mediation.
* All Fatah's Gaza leaders quit over vote Fatah appeared to be in turmoil on Thursday as a large number of its top representatives questioned the credibility of the elections.
* J'lem not counting on Gulf states' gestures The winds of change blowing in from the Gulf are being received coldly in Jerusalem.