"When external crisis strikes Israel, its politicians tend to close ranks. Not this time. Upset with what he sees as the vacillating policies of Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, declared he is dissolving the 20-month-old pact between their two political parties," writes the Economist.
"If I were John Kerry, I'd go to Israel now under only one condition. If Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas called, asked for my help, and made clear they were prepared to deal seriously with the peace process when this round calms down. Otherwise, Mr. Secretary, stay home," writes Aaron David Miller in Foreign Policy.
"A third approach is needed. While protecting Israel's civilian population militarily, Israel should try to catalyze Hamas's ultimate transformation to an unarmed political party in a Palestinian state. For theological reasons, even in a best case scenario Hamas will remain at arm's length from a final status agreement," writes Ofer Zalzberg in the Times of Israel.
Candidates Claim Victory in Indonesia's Presidential Race
Both candidates vying for Indonesia's presidency declared victory after polling places closed Wednesday and unofficial counts showed a tight race. Outgoing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for the candidates to exercise restraint ahead of the release of official results slated for July 22 (FT).
CFR's Karen Brooks explains the election's high stakes for the world's third-largest democracy.
Afghan civilians killed or injured in war-related incidents rose 24 percent in the first half of 2014 as fighting between government forces and insurgents proliferated near populated areas (TOLO), the UN said in a Wednesday report.
This Backgrounder explains the sources of the Taliban's resilience.
SRI LANKA: Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison defended his government's lack of transparency on the whereabouts of 153 asylum-seekers (SMH).