• President Abbas threatened to end the announced direct peace talks if the West Bank construction freeze is lifted, as it is currently scheduled to be in late September. [AP/LAT]
• Iran unveiled a new long-range unmanned bomber drone, which President Ahmadinejad called a potential “ambassador of death.” [NYT]
• Iran’s Russia-built Bushehr nuclear reactor will be fully ready in two to three months. The United States would prefer it hadn’t been built, but at the same time doesn’t consider it a big deal. [Laura Rozen]
• The Park51 debate is working at cross-purposes with post-9/11 U.S. efforts at image-building in the Islamic world, with many Muslims worldwide wondering why the prospect of a mosque near Ground Zero bothers people so much. [LAT]
• What does the new Gaza City mall symbolize? Well, that depends on whom you ask. [NYT]
• What the gigantic, newly discovered offshore natural gas deposits mean for Israel. [NYT]
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.