News Roundup for December 7, 2020

December 7, 2020

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J Street in the News

Major Jewish Group Joins Fight Against Trump’s Massive Middle East Weapons Sale, Huffington Post
“J Street, a prominent Jewish American organization working on Middle East issues, is joining the growing push to stop President Donald Trump from sending $23 billion in military arms and equipment to the United Arab Emirates. The group’s opposition, which has not been previously reported, bolsters the effort to block the deal through a congressional vote later this week. ‘We oppose this arms sale and urge Senators to vote for the bipartisan resolutions rejecting it introduced by Senators [Bob] Menendez, Chris Murphy and [Rand] Paul,’ J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami told HuffPost in an email. ‘The sale of a massive quantity of such destructive weapons systems to the UAE would only further fuel an escalating arms race in a region already suffering from destabilizing wars that endanger civilians and undermine U.S. interests.’”

Top News and Analysis

Palestinian Teen Killed by Israeli Fire During West Bank Protest, Haaretz
A Palestinian teen was shot by Israeli forces during a protest in his village of al-Mughayir, northeast of Ramallah, and has died of his wounds, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. According to the Palestinian Red Cross, Ali Abu Aliya, who media reported is 13 years old, was hit by live fire in the stomach and was taken in critical condition to a hospital in Ramallah for surgery. The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed his death hours later. He had been participating in a protest against a new settlement outpost in the area. Other demonstrators reported that clashes broke out between the Israeli army and Palestinians, even though they were far from the outpost.

Gantz, Katz meet on budget in bid to avert elections, ends without results, Times of Israel
Defense Minister and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz met late Sunday with Finance Minister Israel Katz over the state budget in a bid to avert fresh election. The meeting, however, ended without any tangible results.

Netanyahu’s reaction to Biden’s victory is appalling, Washington Post
Jackson Diehl writes, “Netanyahu has publicly taken a militant stand against one of Biden’s principal foreign policy pledges: that he would return the United States to the nuclear accord with Iran. And Israel is widely reported to be behind the Nov. 27 assassination of Iran’s leading nuclear scientist. That provocative act will not slow, and may even accelerate, Iran’s renewed nuclear activity, including uranium enrichment. But the killing could sabotage Biden’s attempt to revive ­diplomacy.”


European Union Calls on Israel to Probe Killing of 13-year-old Palestinian, Haaretz
“This shocking incident must be swiftly and fully investigated by the Israeli authorities in order to bring the perpetrators to justice,” the EU delegation responsible for Palestinian affairs said.

US Congresswoman Betty McCollum denounces Israel’s ‘state-sponsored killing’ of Palestinian child, Middle East Eye
US Congresswoman Betty McCollum denounced the fatal shooting of a Palestinian child by Israeli forces in the West Bank as a “grotesque state-sponsored killing,” calling on the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden to investigate the incident.

‘May God give us patience’: Palestinians mourn child killed, Al Jazeera
“I miss everything about him – his smile, his laughter and joy in his eyes when his team [friends] win in a football game. He has left a gap in his family’s hearts that no one can fill,” Father Ayman Abu Alia said.

As Cases Surge, Gaza’s Main COVID-19 Lab Halts Work for Lack of Equipment, Haaretz
This is the latest in a series of dire signs about the state of Gaza’s medical situation due to the ongoing rise in the number of coronavirus patients. As Haaretz reported last week, around 30 percent of coronavirus tests in Gaza are coming back positive, with the daily number of tests ranging from 2,000 to 2,500.

Health minister warns of 3rd lockdown amid grim projections, but no decision yet, Times of Israel
With health officials saying Israel is facing an imminent new wave of coronavirus infections, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein warned Sunday evening that the country is in danger of entering a third lockdown if action is not taken within days to curb the outbreak.

Israeli police cleared in shooting of maimed Palestinian boy, AP
Israeli authorities have cleared police of any wrongdoing in the case of a 9-year-old boy who lost an eye after apparently being shot in the face by an Israeli officer earlier this year.

Military Police launch probe after Palestinian teen said shot dead by soldier, Times of Israel
The military initially denied using live ammunition to break up the protest, saying instead that it had only used less lethal riot dispersal weapons like rubber-tipped bullets, but later admitted that soldiers had in fact used .22-caliber Ruger rounds in Kafr Malik on Friday.

More Netanyahu protests as Israel edges toward snap election, AP
Several thousand protesters in Jerusalem gathered Saturday outside the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation as Israel moves toward an early election.

Iran nuclear deal: Saudi Arabia says Gulf states must be consulted if US revives accord, AFP
Saudi Arabia says the Gulf states must be consulted if a US nuclear agreement with Iran is revived, warning it is the only path towards a sustainable agreement.

Opinion and Analysis

Paper General or Perfect Candidate? This Former Israeli Commander Could Succeed Where Others Failed, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “Israeli center-left simply can’t wean itself off its addiction to savior-generals. But Gadi Eisenkot could attract voters from across the political spectrum.”

The battle over Trump’s huge UAE arms deal, explained, Vox
“Just a mind blowing number of unsettled issues and questions the Administration couldn’t answer,” tweeted Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. “Hard to overstate the danger of rushing this though.”

Israel’s War on Palestinian Children, Haaretz
Gideon Levy writes, “On Friday they killed Ali Abu Alia, a 15-year-old boy. It was a lethal shot to the abdomen. No one could remain indifferent to the sight of his innocent face in photographs, and his last picture – in a shroud, his face exposed, his eyes closed, as he was carried to burial in his village. Ali, as he did every week, went with his friends to demonstrate against the wild and violent outposts that sprouted out of the settlement of Kokhav Hashahar, taking over the remaining land of his village, al-Mughayir.”