News Roundup for February 1, 2022

February 1, 2022
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J Street works to promote an open, honest and rigorous conversation about Israel. The opinions reflected in articles posted in the News Roundup do not necessarily reflect J Street’s positions, and their posting does not constitute an endorsement from J Street.

Top News and Analysis

Blinken Calls Abbas to Talk U.S.-Palestinian Relations, Also Speaks With Israel’s Lapid, Haaretz
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a rare phone call on Monday. The two “discussed the importance of strengthening the U.S. relationship with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people, as well as the need to improve quality of life for Palestinians in tangible ways.” They also discussed the “challenges facing the Palestinian Authority and the need for reform,” according to a State Department readout of the call.

Israeli Commanders Disciplined in Death of Palestinian-American Man, The New York Times
Three Israeli military commanders have been disciplined after an investigation into the death of a 78-year-old Palestinian-American man who was detained, gagged and handcuffed by Israeli soldiers in a night raid on his village last month.


Amnesty Report Accuses Israel of Apartheid Against Palestinians, Including Its Own Citizens, Haaretz
In the report, published Tuesday, the human rights group says Israel enforces apartheid against Palestinians living in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as against Palestinian refugees and their descendants outside the territory. It reviews a series of Israeli measures and policies that affect Palestinians, including cases of land expropriation, unlawful killings, forced displacement, restrictions on movement and denial of citizenship rights.

Israel President on 1st Visit to UAE Amid Regional Tension, The Washington Post
Israel’s figurehead president met the powerful crown prince of Abu Dhabi on Sunday on the first official visit to the United Arab Emirates by the country’s head of state, the latest sign of deepening ties between the two nations as tensions rise in the region.

Gantz Says Weakening of Palestinian Authority Threatens Israel’s Security, Haaretz
The years-long weakening of the Palestinian Authority, widely unpopular among the Palestinian public, has served to strengthen Hamas and threaten Israel’s security, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday.

Iran Shifts Centrifuge Work Away From Site Allegedly Struck by Israel — Un Watchdog, The Times of Israel
Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency it has stopped production at one of its nuclear facilities attacked last June and transferred work to another site, the watchdog said Monday.

Opinion and Analysis

Why Biden’s Team Suddenly Sounds Optimistic on Iran, Haaretz
Ben Samuels writes, “As negotiations concerning Iran’s nuclear program enter the final stages, U.S. officials are attempting to proactively set the narrative as it emerged last week that several of the U.S. negotiating team had stepped down.”

Schools for Sumud: How Palestinians Are Resisting Israel’s War on Education, +972 Mag
Basil al-Adraa reports, “For many Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, education is not a right but a privilege that Israel can take away at will. This is especially true for those of us who live in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank that is under full Israeli military and administrative control; since 2016, Israel has demolished 10 schools built in Palestinian villages in Area C.”